S1E6: The Pragmatic Tyranny of Building Digital Artifacts
Elijah Meeks, Jason Heppler, and Paul Zenke discuss Jason’s experiences working on the Geography of the Post project, D3.js, and the challenges of designing, and critically engaging with, interactive scholarly works.
Subscribe via iTunes | Download
Subscribe to our newsletter
From the end of the Civil War until the close of the nineteenth century, the United States Postal System grew into a vast communications network. The Post was one of the century’s largest spatial systems, with more than 75,000 offices connecting communities scattered across the continent. Geography of the Post maps this behemoth network on its western periphery: where it spread, how it operated, and its role in shaping the space and place of the region.
My name is Cameron Blevins and I’m a PhD candidate at Stanford University studying U.S. history and digital methodology.
A choropleth map (from Greek χώρο (“area/region”) + πλήθος (“multitude”)) is a thematic map in which areas are shaded or patterned in proportion to the measurement of the statistical variable being displayed on the map, such as population density or per-capita income.
On a mission to help people see and understand data.
Historians of the American West have a county problem. It’s primarily one of geographic size: counties in the West are really, really big. A “List of the Largest Counties in the United States” might as well be titled “Counties in the Western United States (and a few others)” – you have to go all the way to #30 before you find one that falls east of the 100th meridian. The problem this poses to historians is that a lot of historical data was captured at a county level, including the U.S. Census.
FRONTLINE also finds that the regulators that oversee university accreditation are looking closer at the for-profits and, in some cases, threatening to withdraw the required accreditation that keeps them eligible for federal student loans. “We’ve elevated the scrutiny tremendously,” says Dr. Sylvia Manning, president of the Higher Learning Commission, which accredits many post-secondary institutions. “It is really inappropriate for accreditation to be purchased the way a taxi license can be purchased. …When we see any problematic institution being acquired and being changed we put it on a short leash.”
The Great Pyramid of Giza (also known as the Pyramid of Khufu or the Pyramid of Cheops) is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis bordering what is now El Giza, Egypt. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain largely intact.
Charles Minard’s flow map of Napoleon’s March
The earliest known pie chart is generally credited to William Playfair’s Statistical Breviary of 1801, in which two such graphs are used.
Imagine a widely used and expensive prescription drug that promised to make us beautiful but didn’t. Instead the drug had frequent, serious side effects: It induced stupidity, turned everyone into bores, wasted time, and degraded the quality and credibility of communication. These side effects would rightly lead to a worldwide product recall.
ORBIS: The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World reconstructs the time cost and financial expense associated with a wide range of different types of travel in antiquity. The model is based on a simplified version of the giant network of cities, roads, rivers and sea lanes that framed movement across the Roman Empire. It broadly reflects conditions around 200 CE but also covers a few sites and roads created in late antiquity.
This is a list of Superfund sites in California designated under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) environmental law. The CERCLA federal law of 1980 authorized the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to create a list of polluted locations requiring a long-term response to clean up hazardous material contaminations.
The intent of this exercise is to offer a place that individuals can consult to see if an institution is now closed or if the name has been changed due to a merger or for other reasons.
The First Draft theme song. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Colleges selected by institutions as peers show the power players in the world of higher education. Those choices also reveal sometimes surprising connections.
A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.
Thanks for listening.