Archive for June, 2006

Extreme DE: digitizing Calepinus

Friday, June 30th, 2006

Today Wolfgang Schibel (of the phenomenal project CAMENA – Lateinische Texte der Frühen Neuzeit) mentioned to me the Wolfenbüttel images of the Leiden Calepinus ca. 1650. This is a fascinating work for many reasons but my first reaction on seeing the plethora of character sets used in each entry was: what a nightmare for a data entry team! Here’s a sample to show what I mean:

a sample from Calepinus

TEI by example, initial report, 2006/06/09

Friday, June 30th, 2006

TEI by example, initial report, 2006/06/09

Open Context: Sharing Archaeological Data Digitally

Friday, June 30th, 2006

from About Archaeology:

A new tool in the open source arsenal announced its beta launch last week. Called Open Context, the project involves scientists from Cambridge University (UK), Harvard University, the Smithsonian Institution, U.C. Berkeley, and the University of Chicago, and is supported by grants from the William and Flora Hewett Foundation, “inkind” services from Deloitte and Touche and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and help from individual donors.

Open Context is a project out of the Alexandria Archive Institute (AAI), a nonprofit institute named after the famous Ptolemaic Library of Alexandria in Egypt. The AAI is intent on building a place to share data on world history and archaeology. Developed by Eric Kansa, Sarah Whicher Kansa and Jeanne Loipiparo, the AAI’s demonstration system, Open Context, combines “reports, observations, maps, plans, analyses, digital files and images of excavations and surveys” generated by archaeological research, and makes them available to students and researchers around the globe.

Webcast on digital libraries coming up

Friday, June 30th, 2006

Lorcan Dempsey, Vice President (Research) at OCLC, will be making a presentation at Edinburgh University Library on Monday 3 July 2006:

The digital library landscape and trends in the world of Web 2.0.

Edinburgh University Library. Monday 3 July 2006. 14.00 BST.

A live webcast will be made of this presentation at

The event has been organised by the Digital Library Division of Edinburgh University Library and will form part of the 10th Anniversary Celebrations for EDINA – a UK National Data Centre based in the University of Edinburgh.

From the horse’s mouth

Friday, June 30th, 2006

For God’s sake, you’re in college; don’t cite the encyclopedia.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, on the plight of students who get in trouble for using bad information they find in his encyclopedia.

Google Shakespeare, Google Book Search, Google Sketchup model

Friday, June 30th, 2006

Google’s Book Blog (devoted to the Google Book Search project) has an entry on the Google Shakespeare project. This latter site seems to give a good feel for some of the things Google wants to do with its digitized books.

The Google Earth Blog also notes the existence of a textured model of the Globe Theater in its 3D Warehouse.

Yet another site about Fair Use

Friday, June 30th, 2006

From the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law:
The Fair Use Network

Jill Coffin: Analysis of open source principles in diverse collaborative communities

Friday, June 30th, 2006

From Infobits:

The June 2006 issue of FIRST MONDAY features selected papers from “FM10 Openness: Code, Science, and Content,” a conference held in May and sponsored by First Monday journal, the University of Illinois at Chicago University Library, and the Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT). The theme of the conference was open access (in journals, communities, and science) and open source. Links to the online papers, along with citations to those not available online, are available at

The paper by Jill Coffin caught my eye for its useful list of characteristics.

This paper applies traits common to successful free software and open source hacker communities as a framework to analyze three non–hacker collaborative communities. These traits were distilled from my analysis of various open source communities including the Linux, Debian and Mozilla communities. While this framework may not tell the complete story of these communities, the analysis yields observations relevant to the design of collaborative systems. The framework consists of the following characteristics of successful free software/open source communities:

  • open and widespread membership based upon participation
  • geographically distributed, asynchronous, networked collaboration
  • project transparency, particularly open, recorded dialog and peer review of project materials,
  • discussion and decisions
  • a compelling foundational artifact to organize participation and build upon
  • collaborative, iteratively clarified, living documents and project artifacts
  • a mechanism for institutional history
  • a community–wide sense of project ownership
  • a hybrid political system based upon meritocracy
  • a trusted benevolent dictator, typically the project founder
  • foundational developers and early adopters who, along with the benevolent dictator, set project ethos
  • consensus as a decision–making tool
  • upholding the right to fork.

The Colors of Clay

Friday, June 30th, 2006

from the Scout Report today:

14. The Colors of Clay: Special Techniques in Athenian Vases [Macromedia Flash Player]

This web exhibition from The Getty takes you on a gently guided tour of the various ways in which Athenian vase painters decorated clay vessels between 550 and 340 B.C. Eight styles and techniques are explored: Bilingual, Coral Red, Six’s Technique, Added Clay and Gilding, Outline Drawing, White Ground, Plastic, and Kerch Style. Zoomable images of artifacts, textual captions, and, in a few cases, audio curators’ commentary are used at the site to explain the eight techniques. Learn, for example, that the Bilingual style is called that because pieces have red-figure painting on one side, and black-figure painting on the other, hence they are bilingual. Coral Red was only used for a short time, and by only a few workshops, but this type of piece was prized since the color was enhanced by wine. [DS]

New book on OA

Friday, June 30th, 2006

from the mailbox:

A new book, documenting the major strands and issues of open access, will be published 17th July.

Jacobs, N., Eds. (2006) Open Access: Key Strategic, Technical and Economic Aspects. Chandos

It covers the rationale, history, economics, technology and culture of open access, views from major stakeholders, updates from around the world, and visions of the future. The following authors have contributed:

Alma Swan, Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Jean-Claude Guédon, Andrew Odlyzko, Michael Kurtz, Tim Brody, Chris Awre, Stevan Harnad, Arthur Sale, Robert Terry, Robert Kiley, Matthew Cockerill, Mary Waltham, Colin Steele, Leo Waaijers, Peter Suber, Frederick J. Friend, John Shipp, D. K. Sahu, Ramesh C. Parmar, Clifford Lynch, Nigel Shadbolt and Les Carr.

Many of the chapters are, of course, available open access on the web.Further details of the book available at:

To pre-order a copy, please contact:

Turpin Distribution Services Limited
Pegasus Drive
Stratton Business Park
Bedfordshire SG18 8TQ
Tel: +44 (0)1767 604951
Fax: +44 (0)1767 601640
General e-mail:

A URL to open Google Earth directly to a given location…

Sunday, June 25th, 2006

… would look like this:,italy&ie=UTF8&om=1=&output=kml

browser sync

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

Been waiting for this tool for years.

“Books will disappear”

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

Provocative article from the Guardian titled ‘Books will disappear. Print is where words go to die’:

We need to kill the book to save books. Now relax. I’m not suggesting burning books, nor replacing them with electronic gizmos in some paperless future of fable and fantasy. Instead, I’m merely arguing that the book is an outdated means of communicating information. And thanks to the searchable, connected internet, books could be so much more.

Full article here

Actually, much as I argue for electronic publication in many forums, I think reverence for books is a good thing. Discuss… conference 2006

Tuesday, June 6th, 2006

London 2nd June 2006:

“The first UK educational blogging & web 2.0 conference bringing together practitioner and research based expertise to explore cutting edge issues surrounding the educational use of weblogs and social software.”

For details see:

The two excellent keynote speakers Barbara Ganley and Stephen Downes have their blogs linked from the edublog page. The former’s talk is posted as are the latter’s reflections on the day.

CLiP 2006

Friday, June 2nd, 2006

from Humanist:

We are pleased to announce that the full programme for CLiP 2006
“Literatures, Languages and Cultural Heritage in a digital world”
conference is now available on the conference website at

Dynamic Maps

Friday, June 2nd, 2006

from Humanist:

A new issue of Human IT is now available on the Web at

This issue’s theme is Dynamic maps, and it is guest edited by Patrik Svensson.

Digital maps offer exciting new possibilities for humanities and social sciences research. The contributions in this issue provide several good examples of how maps and visualisations can be used both to support research and to provide interesting results and end-products, useful to people within as well as outside of the academic world. The articles present new approaches to interfaces to geographical and social information, methods for linking spatial and temporal data, and a presentation of an artistic project involving political maps.


* Zachary Devereaux & Stan Ruecker, “Online Issue Mapping of International News and Information Design.” [Refereed section]
* William E. Cartwright, “Exploring Games and Gameplay as a Means of Accessing and Using Geographical Information.” [Open section]
* Martyn Jessop, “Dynamic Maps in Humanities Computing.” [Open section]
* Jeannette L Zerneke, Michael K. Buckland & Kim Carl, “Temporally Dynamic Maps: The Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative Experience.” [Open section]
* Jan Svenungsson, “Controlled Production of Virtual Geo-political Reality through Failure.” [People & Opinions]

Digital Tools for the Humanities: final report

Friday, June 2nd, 2006

The final report of a summit on Digital Tools for the Humanities is available now.