For the spatial history section, I georectified a map of the big island of Hawaii from 1913. I found Map Warper easy and fun to use, but unfortunately, this particular map has nothing to do with my project. Initially, I had found a map of the New York World’s Fair from the early 1900s, but upon closer inspection, I realized that the map did not show actual streets, so at the last minute (during class), I had to find something else to use.
Over Fall break, I had a kind of coming to Jesus moment regarding my project. Without at least two semesters’ time to research performers, collect data, and learn the necessary software to present my findings, I no longer feel comfortable pursuing the project that I discussed with Dr. Appleford. I spoke with Dr. Fryer who reminded me that this is not a research class – it is primarily an introduction to DH and some of its relevant tools. With that in mind, in order to get the most I can out of this semester, I feel I need to refocus.
Since the semester began, I’ve been thinking about interactive maps, and the way in which they enable us to tell stories that allow history to be experienced not just visually, but spatially. As someone who does not have a good spatial sense (but a strong interest in travel), this type of visualization can be very helpful. This interest came back to me during the spatial history section of class.
Since one of the challenges I am currently experiencing is a lack of data, it seems logical to use an existing data set that is need of a visualization. One candidate that is related to my research area is this one, which lists the routes of over 100 traveling circuses in multiple years. I’d be very interested in discussing how to turn even a portion of this data into a DH project, and possibly offer the final product to the Circus Historical Society for use on their website, and hopefully serve as a jumping-off point for further research. At least to start, I would focus on circuses that had a side show component, and would be open to incorporating additional elements, such as images of related photos, posters, and newspaper clippings.
At this point, I’m leaning toward WordPress for my platform, but now that I’ve changed the focus of my project, I’m not sure if that is still the best option. If nothing else, it is the platform I am most comfortable with. Similarly, until I’m able to meet with Dr. Appleford and discuss this new development, I am not ready to choose a domain name.