I dropped in to see my friend Don Moses this morning out at the Robertson Library (one of the spin-off benefits of renewing my UPEI Sports Centre workout routine is that I’m back on campus again three times a week). I planned just to stay for a few moments, but ended up staying for an hour as Don took me on a cook’s tour of projects near and far, including:
- The continuing evolution of IslandLives.ca, a project to digitize Prince Edward Island community histories that I was involved with a little in its earlier stages. There have been some nice additions to the collection – like Out of Thin Air, the history of radio station CFCY (I own a physical copy, and it’s a great read) – and some good usability improvements, like showing pages matching keyword searches (like this search for Kingston).
- Behind the scenes the web-based TEI editor that UPEI has developed to allow for community annotation of the Island Lives collection looks fantastic: it’s much honed since I saw a very rough demo in the spring, and once it hits the open source stream I’m sure others will put it to unanticipated other uses.
- The map digitizing project is really starting to take off and I got to see a few examples of high-resolution map scans, and some of the arrows in the digitization quiver, like using Quantum GIS for geo-referencing. The project, especially when it and Island Lives start to synergize, is really going to be amazing: take a look at Hypercities to get an example of where this sort of thing can lead.
- Exhibit, a framework for rendering JSON data into interactive applications that include things like faceted search and mapping, looks very promising; I might have a go a rendering the Peter Rukavina Timeline in Exhibit as a learning exercise. See also the pedigree maps at WeRelate.org.
If you’re interested in digitization, mapping, GIS and history, the Robertson Library is the place to be these days; I look forward to seeing what they cook up next.