Tag Archives: dhpraxis

DH Box considers deployment options

Cross-posted from the DH Box Blog: http://dhbox.commons.gc.cuny.edu/blog/2014/deployment-options-dh-box


Once DH Box knew the platform it would adopt, it was simply a matter of figuring out the best way to utilize that platform. But was it so simple?

What the DH Box Team has been tackling this week is striking a balance between providing a robust tool that is useful for the intended audience and whose maintenance is not insurmountable for its administrators.

To recap — the platform chosen for delivering the DH Box environment, ready with DH tools installed, is a web server image provided through Amazon’s AMI (Amazon Machine Image) appliance. This will deliver, in essence, an identical copy of a tool-laden operating system to any user’s system.

Choosing this platform offered important benefits — for example, freedom from having to address issues caused by tools being installed to users’ personal systems. However, it also introduced tension: to deploy images hosted by Amazon, one needs to use an Amazon account. Would we have users create their own Amazon Web Services (AWS) accounts that require credit card information (though launching the Image is a free service) or would we maintain an account that instances would be launched from and figure out how the DH Box team would handle potential related charges?

Many questions entered into this equation: Would our intended users be open to providing credit card information? Who might this alienate? Or, if we managed the AWS account with many instances running, would we incur charges we’re not prepared to deal with? What would be the time-period allotted to users for running the instances?

DH Box has had to think through how different deployment options (e.g. requiring users to have their own AWS accounts) might affect how DH Box will be adopted by intended users. And this — the tension between providing a service that is maintainable, sustainable, and at-once useful to the intended audience — is something any project like DH Box might face.

It’s a Two-Fer!

Travelogue group members
Sarah – Project Manager
Amy – Technology and Design
Melanie – Outreach and Communication
Evonne – Research
Adam – Technology and Design

Last week, due to illness, the Travelogue’s outreach and communication person was ironically silenced.  However, that means this week there is twice as much Travelogue team blog fun to catch up on!

Travelogue’s Twitter page has a great new logo courtesy of Adam.  Initially, we had encountered an issue with the size of the first Travelogue logo not looking great sized down for Twitter.  Adam also created the Travelogue logo that appears on the Travelogue’s Common’s page.  Throughout the design process, Adam shared drafts for input from the group.  Amy has been hard at work on the design and content of the Travelogue’s Common’s page.

Last Monday on March 3rd the team, sans one under the weather outreach and communication member, presented an update on the project status to the DHPraxis class.  In preparation, Sarah created an action plan outlining how each team member could explain the progression the team has made so far.

Sarah met with our DH Praxis professor Matt Gold to go over the scope of the project and get his input on the current ideas the team has.  Sarah is working on the Travelogue website’s wireframe and created a mock up of the layout.  Also, she is continuously working on the project plan.  The team has been actively communicating, to organize the communication and each team member’s responsibilities, Sarah established an Asana page for the team.

Evonne has been compiling research resources, organizing the research conducted, what needs to be further researched and maintaining citations in a Travelogue Zotero page.  Using Evonne’s extensive research as a guide and the Gale database Directory of Special Libraries and Information Centers, Melanie has been reaching out to multiple academic institutions.  The preliminary goal is to introduce the Travelogue project, request info on the usage of content (for example from the Library of Congress) and building relations from there.  Through the Travelogue Twitter account Melanie has followed organizations working on mapping projects  and will be actively working creating engaging content in the pursuit of followers.

The team has been exploring ArcGIS Story Maps as the mapping tool for the project.  A schedule of meetings outside of class is being established as to best collaboratively brainstorm face to face.  The team is looking into whether Travelogue will be paralleling the travel narratives of the chosen authors (Ernest Hemingway and Zora Neale Hurston), literally displaying the travel trajectories of both on the same map?  Or, will each author’s journey be depicted on a separate map?  The website’s URL is also currently being decided upon.

If you want to contact us please do. Our project blog is at  travelogue.commons.gc.cuny.edu. Email us at dhtravelogue [at] gmail [dot] com or follow us on Twitter @DhTravelogue