Author Archives: Melanie Locay

Collaborative Opportunities

The Travelogue team has been exploring how other sites are using maps as digital pedagogical tools.  We are also connecting with possible collaborators, including other mapping projects, educational institutions and libraries.

In an effort to be participate in the conversations happening on social network platforms, Travelogue has been monitoring how Twitter is being used by similar projects.  We have explored hashtags that are being used in reference to maps, are concerned with literature, teaching, English, History, Social Studies, high school teachers, lesson plans etc.  We have also been following the conversations/posts on the Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC) site.

On the development front we are playing with several WordPress Child Themes to see which will best work for the Travelogue site and the ESRI Storymap we will be using.  Research wise, we have completed a workable draft of the Ernest Hemingway content spreadsheet which we will use to construct Travelogue’s Ernest Hemingway StoryMap.

The Travelogue Commons site has a Research section that is categorized and features helpul resources, compiled during the progression of the Travelogue project.  For example, Esri Storymaps for Education.

Thank you for following our journey.  We look forward to sharing our connections with others in the GIS world.

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

Travelogue: Format Selection and Other Updates

The team chose the ESRI ArcGIS Storymaps platform for the Travelogue project.  Last week the team had a vote on which ESRI ArcGIS Storymaps format to go with, the options were:

Sequential, Place-based Narratives Map Tour

A Curated List of Points of Interest Short List

Comparing Two or More Maps Tabbed Viewer

Comparing Two or More Maps Side Accordion

A Curated List of Points of Interest Playlist

The winner was…Map Tour

Each team member has an Esri ArcGIS organizational account that can be used to practice and publish.  With the format selected and a large volume of research content done we can now start building.  The American authors that we have chosen to initially feature are Zora Neale Hurston and Ernest Hemingway.  We have shared Google Drive folders for each that feature spreadsheets with the research collected so far.  The spreadsheet entries are organized with a unified chronological date so that the journeys can be mapped chronologically.  All of the locations on both spreadsheets also have coordinates.

Informational text about each author is being written and audiovisual material to be featured on the Travelogue site is being collected.  Notably, direct links to Hemingway images from the JFK Library’s Media Gallery For the content sources we have chosen to use the MLA citation format.

The Travelogue’s Twitter account has received a few new followers.  Also, a Travelogue tweet was favorited by a San Francisco Chronicle newspaper Book Editor (all acknowledgements count).  The Twitter logo has been redesigned.  The look of the Twitter page has been updated to reflect the biblio and cartographic aspects of the project. Check it out @dhtravelogue

The team is looking forward to providing a status update presentation to the DH Praxis class on Monday, March 24th.

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

Finding a Home: Travelogue Picks a URL

The Travelogue team has been navigating the URL waters (travel puns abound but URL names do not).  By Monday, March 17th the URL had been decided upon and purchased.  Details soon to follow (we will let you know when to begin the drum roll).

Other updates: On the Travelogue’s Commons page the Twitter feed has been updated removing the icons and making it more text based.  The team is also choosing between paper texture images to be used for the Travelogue’s Commons site background, consulting with guides on 2014 web design trends.  We have been actively working on the Zotero citations for the content that will be featured on the Travelogue site.  Meet-ups outside of normal class hours have been scheduled.  We have been outlining the research that has been done so far and what needs to be worked on.  Zora Neale Hurston and Ernest Hemingway are the two American authors that the Travelogue project will initially focus on.  Research wise, we are currently working on historical context, researching what was going on in the locations that they traveled to during their time there.

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

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 Email us at dhtravelogue [at] gmail [dot] com or follow us on Twitter @DhTravelogue

Travelogue team journal post #2

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

Monday, February 24th

Since the last class meeting, the Travelogue team has decided to focus on two American authors, Zora Neale Hurston and Ernest Hemingway.

Amy has created the Travelogue Commons site, which includes photos of the two chosen authors, the Travelogue logo, Twitter button, contact form (including a Travelogue gmail account) and a bio page featuring photos of the Travelogue team members.  Each team member has been working on a short bio and those will be posted soon.  The Travelogue email includes a signature with the team’s Twitter handle.

Evonne has created a research plan for the project and added it to the Travelogue Google Drive folder.  She also created a Zotero folder for the project, as to track resources and references. Evonne will cross post the resources and references in the Google Drive folders for each author.

Adam has updated the Travelogue logo that can now be seen on the Commons site and soon on the Twitter page.  He has continued to research Omeka+Neatline.  Adam is exploring HTML, CSS and other resources that will be helpful once a mapping platform has been chosen for the project.

Sarah has organized a consultation meeting for the team with Steven Romalewski.  The goal is to decide on a mapping platform that fits the Travelogue project scope.  Sarah has also provided the team with a list of “action items” and organized a schedule of weekly check-ins for the team.

In thinking about Travelogue as a pedagogical tool, but also an accessible resource for those outside of an academic environment, I have been exploring how to identify who the target audience is.  I have been using the Journal of Digital Humanities as a resource to research best publicity practices for a DH project.  I have continued to document the Travelogue team’s progress in journal posts and updated the team’s Twitter.


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

Travelogue team journal post #1

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

The Travelogue project will disrupt and broaden the expatriate narrative, while at the same time compiling American literary travel narratives and timelines with web mapping.  Mapping these journeys for display on an interactive website will provide both a visual and theoretical representation of modern literary movements in America, enabling the humanities community to gain a broader understanding of the history and underlying structure of these works.  It will also act as a pedagogical tool, allowing students to see narratives and literary movements represented through interactive, visual means, and as a general source of information for a wider public audience.

Thursday, February 20th

The team has been off to a successful start, communicating consistently through the Travelogue CUNY Commons group page that Amy created.  As a group, we have been discussing what the scope of the project is and what we would like it to look like.

Sarah created a Google folder for the project.  The folder features the project plan Excel spreadsheet and sheets for info on each of the four authors Travelogue will feature.  Sarah has been providing an outline for the project scope, noting details of the author’s “life journey” that Travelogue should be highlighting.

We have been exploring a diverse list of American authors that have traveled substantially and or lived abroad.  This week we plan on solidifying the list of four authors.  Zora Neale Hurston and Ernest Hemingway will most likely be featured.  Evonne has been researching the authors, narrowing down the list to authors that fit the Travelogue criteria, and have the greatest volume of digital content available.  She has created a Google doc with the data collected.

Amy and I have been researching tutorials and guides for the possible platforms.  We have been sharing the info and links on the group’s Commons page.  Amy and I have also researched possible authors to feature, focusing on female authors.  I created a Twitter account for Travelogue and shared the account info with the group.  During the next collaborative class session, I will inquire as to what the best practices are for sharing project progression details publicly through social media.

Possible platforms the group has discussed:

– CartoDB
– Mapbox
– Google Maps + Google Fusion Tables
– Omeka + Neatline

Adam sketched a logo for Travelogue.  We all agreed it was great.  He has scanned it and has been actively sharing drafts of the logo with the group as he works on the design.  Adam has also been researching Neatline+Omeka, along with other platforms and tutorials.  The group is looking forward to consulting with Steven Romalewski on which platform would be best and most feasible within the scope of the project.  The front runner, platform-wise, has been Omeka+Neatline.  Sarah has also been researching CartoDB, its functionalities and  the cost involved in the usage of CartoDB.

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

NYPL Labs-Turning Physical Data into Digital Knowledge


Last month I attended a Hacks/Hackers event that the NYPL hosted. Here is a blog post from the NYPL Labs team discussing what was covered  and there is a link to the slides that were used during the presentation:

When we were asked to define Digital Humanities a few classes ago, my definition was a clunky explanation about accessibility to information.  I think the projects that the NYPL Labs team are working on exemplify what I understand the digital humanities to be.  Also, I think it’s revolutionizing the access to information that public libraries can provide…which is very exciting.

-Melanie Locay

Planned Obsolescence

Hello all,

You may already be aware, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that Kathleen Fitzpatrick’s book Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy is available electronically through Project Muse.

Project Muse 
*This database is accessible from home with an active NYPL card number

We also have access to Project Muse offsite as CUNY students through the Mina Rees Library

If you have any trouble finding it I would be happy to provide instructions with screen shots.