FAQ

ABOUT THE ADVERTISEMENTS:

1. How many pages are in each journal
Usually 4 pages, printed front and back.

2. How many advertisements are in each journal?
Circa 100. In other words, at least half of each issue was taken devoted to them.

3. What size is each page?
Each page is comparable to a modern A3 page. Each one is densely packed. In some instances text can only be deciphered using a magnifying glass.

4. Are images used in advertisements?
Occasionally images are used, but mostly they are text only.

5. Are advertisements published on a recurring basis?
Yes, this is often the case.

ABOUT THE PHOTOS:

6. What camera was used?
A hand-held Canon EOS M.

7. What format was used for the photos?
Each image was taken in RAW format, and also saved as a JPEG.

8. How were photos of pages broken down into photos of individual advertisements?
Each individual advertisement was copied from the original JPEG using Canon Digital Professional and saved as a standalone JPEG for the purposes of mapping.

9. What image hosting platform was used and why?
Firstly, it’s important to note that images must be hosted online in order to use them in Google Maps Engine, so an image hosting platform needed to be selected. Two platforms were tested – Picasa Web Album and Flickr. Both are similar in their offerings, but Flickr offers a much cleaner user interface and a nicer look and feel, giving a better user experience overall. Additional metadata (file size, camera details etc.) is available, but it is not displayed by default, ensuring the user is not presented with an excess of information. Another advantage is that it retains the file name associated with an image when it is uploaded unlike Picasa which renames each one (and demotes the original file name to a peripheral location on the page). Images are stored in an uncompressed format ensuring image quality is preserved. It is easy to control access to collections of images – access can be private, open to friends only, or public. Images are also easy to download – users can even download without setting up an account.

10. What metadata Standards were used?
Metadata structure based on Dublin Core (DC) Standards, the most well-known and widely regarded as best practice in the field of Digital Humanities. The inspiration for DC was to create a set of standards that would create a framework which could be used by developers to create a “semantic web of linked data”, a network that works across different domains. It consists of fifteen elements: title, creator, subject and keywords, description, publisher, contributor, date, resource type, format, resource identifier, source, language, relation, coverage and rights management.

ABOUT THE MAPPING:

11. Why create a map?
According to Martyn Jessop, dynamic maps are particularly well suited to the requirements of humanities scholars: “Unlike traditional uses of cartography, which often only display special data that is frozen in the stasis of ‘now’, the cartography applied in the humanities disciples is largely concerned with the dynamic history of past, and current human endeavour. These disciplines are rich in potential applications for dynamic maps […] Maps are widely used in humanities research but usually only a means of communicating knowledge and results that are already understood. Dynamic mapping can be highly effective for this style of data presentation but its full potential becomes apparent when it is used in a visualisation tool to gain an insight into the meaning of data a create new knowledge”(Jessop, Martyn). This informed my decision to investigate the possibility of creating a dynamic map that users could interact with. An additional requirement as per the aim of the internship which needed to be considered was the inclusion of the ability to display and/or link to images.

12. Are there similar projects which were reviewed in the process of creating the map?
Mapping the London Book Trade
Mapping Shakespeare’s London
The Down Survey of Ireland*

*While this was an outlier in terms of subject matter, this historical GIS project based in Trinity College proved to be a very fruitful source of inspiration.

13. What mapping tools were used and why?
Google Maps Engine Pro (GME Pro) was selected for this project. Google Maps Engine Lite (GME Lite) is a free and easy to use mapping tool; GME Pro is the advanced subscription based version of the same tool. Content can be uploaded using a CSV or Excel file. Each row in the excel file is represented by a pin on the map. All of the metadata in the row is displayed in the pin, and there is an option to add one or more images. This avoids coding – in fact, no technical knowledge is necessary. Given the volume of material this proved to be a significant selling-point for GME Pro. Content can be layered, which is another attractive feature. This makes it easy for modellers to create unique maps based on particular criteria (for example, layers based on different types of advertisements or layers based on particular issues); users in turn have the flexibility to create their own bespoke view of content by toggling between layers. The description on their website offers a clear introduction to both tools: “Google Maps Engine Lite and Pro help you create advanced custom maps to share with collaborators and also publish to the web. You can visualize and map more data, like dog-friendly hiking spots or new locations to expand your business! Import locations from a spreadsheet, use layers to visualize different types of content, or simply draw and add places, lines, and shapes.”(‘Welcome to Google Maps Engine Lite and Pro – Maps Engine Lite and Pro Help’).

While GME Lite is useful for testing, its usefulness is limited by data restrictions. GME Pro offers the ability to upload more data, create more complex maps and has additional styling options and advanced tools. The below list summarises the reasons why GME Pro was selected as the mapping tool of choice:

  • It is easy to use and no advanced technical skills/developer skills are required
  • It is compatible with Microsoft Excel
  • It has the potential to be scaled up in time
  • The ability to layer data means that it could be used in a few different ways
  • It is inexpensive
  • It is easy to control access
  • Each location has a pin, each pin displays metadata
  • One or more image can be added to a pin
  • Pins can be customised
  • User friendly experience for audience
  • Easy to find locations – it is not necessary to prove the Longitude and Latitude of a location, if the address is detailed enough it will be displayed
  • It is easy to embed into a website and can be integrated with library catalogue

RESOURCES:

Jessop, Martyn. ‘Dynamic Maps in Humanities Computing’. Journal for Information Technology Studies as a Human Science 8.3 (2006): 68–82. Print.

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