Hello lovely readers! This week I have been tasked with focusing my project and ‘asking a question and searching for data’….
So as the weeks have gone on, I have become more and more frustrated with my idea for the Parliament House timeline project. As I progressed through the project, it didn’t seem innovative, interesting, or like a good use of these amazing digital tools I have at my disposal. Needless to say, after figuring out that creating a timeline of the history of P-House was boring and not really necessary, I was a little miffed. Not unlike this dog…
So this week, with the help of my digital history professor, I have come up with a new topic for my digital history project. I will be trading in the Parliament House for the Minimal Traditional House. Now unless you read my blog all through the summer and saw what I was doing during my internship with the City of Orlando Historic Preservation Board, this may make little to no sense to you. So a quick recap of my summer internship…..
This summer I worked for the Orlando Historic Preservation Board updating their Master Site Files for the Lake Eola Heights Historic District, I won’t go into all the details, but to suffice it to say, I did an enormous amount of research on homes in Lake Eola. I looked at Sanborn maps, city directories, building permits, and old deeds to figure out as much as possible about each of the houses on my list. I also created some really awesome maps of each house, I am super proud of them! So, my professor suggested that instead of going out to look for new data sources I utilize the vast amount of data I collected over the summer. Brilliant!
As I mentioned before, the task I was given this week was to ask a question and seek out data. This task is based on a concept developed by Bill Ferster called the Assert Model.
- Ask a Question
- Search for Data
- Structure the Information
- Envision the Answer
- Represent the Visualization
- Tell a Story Using Data
Ask A Question
I have decided that the broad question I am going to ask is ‘What can the construction of Minimal Traditional houses tell us about the history of the Lake Eola Heights neighborhood,during the interwar years?’. I know this question is hopelessly broad at this point, but as my research progresses I’m sure that I will be able to narrow this down and focus my research on a more specific question.
Search For Data
The data that I’m going to use to answer this hopelessly broad question is going to be drawn from my Master Site File research, including construction dates, contractors, builders, owners, and locations. I have all this data organized into giant spreadsheets and will be able to input it into the digital tools I’m going to be using.
Structure The Information
I will be organizing these Minimal Traditional houses chronologically by construction date. This is the most logical way of organizing the vast amount of data I have. I considered organizing the homes by location or construction material, but that proved to be difficult and somewhat convoluted.
Envision The Answer
This aspect has been a little challenging for me, because I just changed the focus of my project, I haven’t had adequate time to think about the answer to my question, plus my initial question is exceedingly broad and difficult to find a succinct answer to. I’m sure as I progress through my data I will be able to ask a more specific question and then be able to envision a clearer, more concise answer.
Represent the Visualization
I would like to create a visualization that will allow me to use a map, timeline, and some textual elements. I would like to create a timeline that is linked to a map of the neighborhood so that users of my site can get a feel for the ways in which the neighborhood began to change during the interwar period. In order to accomplish this, I will be using a digital tool called Visualeyes5.
Tell A Story Using Data
The story that my data set can tell is that of the changing dynamics in the Lake Eola Heights neighborhood. I think this data can show how the demographics of the neighborhood began to change during the interwar period and can also highlight broader trends within the Orlando area.
I’m really looking forward to this new project! Now all that is left is to begin to play around with this tool and begin to use all the data I collected this summer.
Until next week