In order to create a file that the Overview Project can read and analyze, there are a few different steps that need to be taken. First and foremost, file must use UTF-8, ISO-8859-1, or Windows 1252 character set. Secondly, the formatting of your file must be correct. Therefore, my visual layout of the Museum and Libraries conversation needs to be saved as a CSV file rather than an XLS file. That, of course, was easy enough to accomplish. The final, and next step is where the difficulty lies, or at least it seems to for me.
Now that the file is in the correct format I have to ensure that the first line of each column contains the name of the content within that column. Once this is done I also have to ensure that the column itself is either labelled “text”, “snippet”, or “content”. This seems to be where I am running into trouble. However, after reading the help and example documents over a few times I believe I may have solved my problem.
After struggling for a few days with Gephi I turned to Dr Graham for some guidance. He took a look at what I had done with tracking the museum and library conversation visually with Excel and told me that perhaps Gephi was not the best option. Instead, he told me I should try a different program called Overview.
Therefore, I am now looking in to what Overview is all about by reading their FAQ and Blog. As far as I can tell so far it is looking pretty promising as the first paragraph of their FAQ section that answers “What is Overview?” states, “Overview is intended to help journalists, researchers, and other curious people make sense of massive, disorganized collections of electronic documents. It’s a visualization and analysis tool designed for sets of documents, typically thousands of pages of material”.
PERFECT! Well I will try not to jump ahead to far in my excitement…
So I have successfully downloaded Gephi and have gone through a few stages in the tutorials, updates and installing plugins etc. However, now I am having difficulty downloading the data from my excel file that I wish to create a network out of.
Beginning to take my visual layouts of conversations from THATCamp Accessibility and create a visual network of the conversations using Gephi. Checked out their website and seems a little complicated so I decided I will read Clement Levallois’ (founder) tutorials on how to use it. We shall see where it leads me…
Had a great meeting with Dr Graham yesterday that pushed me farther in right direction. Similarly to Scalar, he has told me about other programs that can help me map out the conversations had at THATCamp Accessibility in a much more advanced visual way. So I will have to take a look at those soon.
Another great thing that I am finding through this project is new connections that I am making. Dr Graham has recently put me in touch with Dr Moravec of Rosemont College in Philadelphia. She is a fellow Digital Historian who has done much work on the politic’s of women’s culture. This is a great contact to have as she has much experience with authoring on Scalar, and has already provided me with much appreciated advice.
Advice number one was to be organized! In order to do so I am creating a flow chart to keep my thoughts in order. Of course even this has led me to new ideas but it is helping me stay on track for sure.
My most recent venture has been to actually experience working on Scalar. Therefore I have began authoring my first book! While it is not nearly as impressive as it sounds, I feel as though it has the potential to be pretty cool.
Starting your first book on Scalar though does not seem to be as easy one might anticipate. For example, the program allows you to create paths within your book so that different pages can be related to one another. From my immediate understanding these relationships are created through keywords that send the reader to a related page, however I am having difficulty figuring out how to establish such a relationship.
On my introduction page where I discuss how the idea for the book came about. I then go on to mention that the book will focus on how technology is making history more accessible. Therefore, seeing as accessibility is going to be a major topic of my book, and is at the centre point of this whole project, I am trying to make it a tag or a path to another page. As I write this I have created a new page titled ‘Accessibility’ but I will have to continue to putter around with it to fully understand how to create a successful tag.