[Humanist] 31.771 surveys, ideology, infrastructure, service

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sat Apr 14 09:55:09 CEST 2018

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 31, No. 771.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2018 09:06:29 +0100
        From: Colin Greenstreet <colin.greenstreet at googlemail.com>
        Subject: Re:  31.768 surveys, ideology, infrastructure, service
        In-Reply-To: <20180413071522.580BE8F26 at s16382816.onlinehome-server.info>

I feel strongly that resources should be created from the community and by
the community. Some of the most imaginative digital tools I have seen have
been created by hobbyists with deep content knowledge and strong technical
skills, who are embedded in a user community. There are some good examples
of community sourced archaeological maps.

I also feel that there is too much money, not too little, available for
tech tool and environment development. In addition there is too little
attention to standard development from knowledgeable users up. The
development and rapid spread of IIIF standards is a powerful exception.
Core to IIIF success seems to me that it is embedded in GLAMs and spans
North America and Europe. Another good example of user driven tool
development is work by the Pelagios Commons on Recogito as a semantic
annotation platform.

My own projects MarineLives and Maphackathon are driven from the user. We
are now experimenting with the creation of a new technology enabled
community for the study of historical literacy, Signs of Literacy. We are
technologically agnostic and are surveying and reaching out to multiple
technology and process ecosystems, including but not limited to IIIF,
Transkribus and Pelagios,  whilst pursuing an agenda of applying pattern
recognition and machine learning to studying markes, initials and
signatures. We are taking eight months, prior to any grant writing our
search for funding or contributions in kind, to assemble our user community
combining content and technical experts. We will be focussed on the end
goal of research insight rather than tool development for its own sake.

That's the plan. Easier said than done!

Best regards

Colin Greenstreet
Co-director, MarineLives; co-producer, Maphackathon; community organiser,
Signs of Literacy;  founder, Chronoscopic education

On 13 Apr 2018 08:15, "Humanist Discussion Group" <
willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk> wrote:

>                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 31, No. 768.
>             Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>                        www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>                 Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
>         Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2018 08:02:34 +0000
>         From: "WARWICK, CLAIRE L." <c.l.h.warwick at durham.ac.uk>
>         Subject: Re:  31.765 surveys, ideology, infrastructure, service
>         In-Reply-To: <20180412071859.9AC658F1C@
> s16382816.onlinehome-server.info>
> Dear Joris and Manfred,
> I do agree with both of you. As anyone who’s ever heard me give a talk
> knows, my favourite response to the drive to definition is to repeat a
> slogan borrowed from a well-known international sportswear retailer.
> Of course I do very much support the need to produce appropriate
> infrastructure, and of course, am an advocate of consulting users. But, am
> also worried that we keep repeating surveys without actually demonstrating
> that action has been taken as a result, that resources are appropriate or
> that levels of use have increased. I’ve come across this problem in the
> past. Resources are created, users don’t use or like them, but instead of
> making changes, it’s just easier to do another survey and ask the same
> questions, in the hope the users get it right this time. This rarely
> happens.
> I’d like to see more exciting research projects funded by the EU, and more
> ERC fellowships in our area granted. If we make the comparison with, for
> example, physics, of course infrastructure is vital- the LHC, beamlines,
> HPC, telescopes etc but the physics community is also keen to ensure that
> EU funds also go into ERC personal fellowships, FP9 etc, because that’s the
> way that the most excellent research is made possible and the subject
> advanced. There’s a model here DH might pursue.
> Best wishes,
> Claire

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