A Digital Gazetteer of North Carolina

UNC School of Information and Library Science, INLS 490-186, Spring 2020

January 9
Introductions

Total amount of reading for this week: 1,800 words

Today we’ll introduce ourselves and talk about:

In addition to the topics above, please come prepared to talk about::

  • yourself, and
  • a place in North Carolina that you either know well or wish you knew more about.

To read before this class:

  1. Shaw, Ryan. “A Digital Gazetteer of North Carolina,” 2019. PDF.
    1,800 words

January 16
Organizing North Carolina places

Total amount of reading for this week: 15,000 words

For today’s class, please meet in the lobby of Wilson Library at 9:25.

We are meeting in room 901, on the 4th floor of Wilson. It can be hard to find, which is why we’re planning on meeting in the lobby.

We will meet with:

We will see some items from the notes of William S. Powell, the compiler of the original North Carolina Gazetteer. We’ll try to get a sense of what it means to have a collection based on a place like “North Carolina.” And we’ll talk about

  • how geographic metadata is integrated into catalog records and authority records
  • georeferencing, and
  • how places can be a challenge for curators of collections.

To read before this class:

  1. Powell, William S. Preface: North Carolina Gazetteer (1st Editon), 1968. https://www.ncpedia.org/gazetteer/prefaces#1st.
    2,400 words
  2. Hill, Michael. Preface to the Second Edition, 2009. https://www.ncpedia.org/gazetteer/prefaces#2nd.
    2,300 words
  3. Buckland, Michael, Aitao Chen, Fredric C. Gey, Ray R. Larson, Ruth Mostern, and Vivien Petras. “Geographic Search: Catalogs, Gazetteers, and Maps.” College and Research Libraries 68, no. 5 (2007): 376–387. https://doi.org/10.5860/crl.68.5.376.
    6,300 words
  4. Buchel, Olha, and Linda L Hill. “Treatment of Georeferencing in Knowledge Organization Systems: North American Contributions to Integrated Georeferencing.” In Proceedings from the North American Symposium on Knowledge Organization, 2009. http://journals.lib.washington.edu/index.php/nasko/article/view/12807/11289.
    4,000 words

January 23
Gazetteers

Total amount of reading for this week: 15,600 words

During the second half of class, we will have a hands-on activity that will involve some digging into the digital version of Powell’s gazetteer.

Before today, please do four things:

  • Complete the survey in the “Tests & Quizzes” section of Sakai asking about your proficiency with different technologies.
  • Download and install the program OpenRefine. OpenRefine is a program that enables sifting through data sets. It will be ideal for Powell’s gazetteer and other datasets we run into this semester.
  • Download and install VirtualBox, a program that lets you run a “virtual” computer on your existing computer. We will use a virtual machine tomorrow and throughout the semester when we do any technical work. This is to ensure that we are able to complete the same tasks in the same environment.
  • Download Ubuntu 19.10. This is a fairly large download (~2gb), so it may take a bit of time. We will go through setting up our Ubuntu virtual machines tomorrow in class.

To read before this class:

  1. Berman, Merrick Lex, Ruth Mostern, and Humphrey Southall. “Introduction.” In Placing Names: Enriching and Integrating Gazetteers, 1–12. Indiana University Press, 2016. PDF.
    4,800 words
  2. Mostern, Ruth, and Humphrey Southall. “Gazetteers Past: Placing Names from Antiquity to the Internet.” Placing Names: Enriching and Integrating Gazetteers, 2016. PDF.
    4,500 words
  3. Shaw, Ryan. “Gazetteers Enriched: A Conceptual Basis for Linking Gazetteers with Other Kinds of Information.” In Placing Names: Enriching and Integrating Gazetteers, 51–64. Indiana University Press, 2016. PDF.
    6,300 words

January 30
Digital gazetteers

Total amount of reading for this week: 19,500 words

Today we’ll be joined (via Zoom) by Karl Grossner, Technical Director of the World-Historical Gazetteer. Karl is also involved in Linked Pasts and Pelagios and is leading the development of GeoJSON-T. His dissertation focused on the representation of historical knowledge in GIS.

To read before this class:

  1. Hill, Linda L. “Core Elements of Digital Gazetteers: Placenames, Categories, and Footprints.” In Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries, edited by José Borbinha and Thomas Baker, 1923/2000:280–290. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2000. PDF.
    4,800 words
  2. Cope, Aaron Straup, and Nathaniel Vaughn Kelso. “Who’s On First · Mapzen.” Blog. Mapzen, August 18, 2015. https://web.archive.org/web/20200106201029/https://www.mapzen.com/blog/who-s-on-first/.
    5,600 words
  3. Ballatore, Andrea, and Peter Mooney. “Conceptualising the Geographic World: The Dimensions of Negotiation in Crowdsourced Cartography.” International Journal of Geographical Information Science 29, no. 12 (December 2015): 2310–2327. https://doi.org/10.1080/13658816.2015.1076825.
    9,100 words

February 6
Linked data

Before you do the reading for this week, you’ll want to make sure your computer is set up to look at Turtle files and to do SPARQL queries, so that you can follow along with the exercises in the texts.

To read before this class:

  1. Verborgh, Ruben, and Seth van Hooland. “Modelling.” In Linked Data for Libraries, Archives and Museums: How to Clean, Link and Publish Your Metadata, 11–70. Facet Publishing, 2014. http://book.freeyourmetadata.org/chapters/1/modelling.pdf.
  2. DuCharme, Bob. “Jumping Right in: Some Data and Some Queries.” In Learning SPARQL: Querying and Updating with SPARQL 1.1, 2nd ed., 1–17. Sebastopol: O’Reilly Media, 2013. PDF.
  3. DuCharme, Bob. “SPARQL Queries: A Deeper Dive.” In Learning SPARQL: Querying and Updating with SPARQL 1.1, 2nd ed., 47–102. Sebastopol: O’Reilly Media, 2013. PDF.
  4. Krotzsch, M, and D Vrandecic. “Wikidata : A Free Collaborative Knowledge Base.” Communications of the ACM 57, no. 10 (2014): 78–85. PDF.
    5,100 words

February 13
Linked data gazetteers

Total amount of reading for this week: 16,400 words

To read before this class:

  1. Hyvonen, Eero, Esko Ikkala, and Jouni Tuominen. “Linked Data Brokering Service for Historical Places and Maps.” CEUR Workshop Proceedings 1608 (2016): 39–51. https://research.aalto.fi/files/26503392/paper_06_1.pdf.
    5,500 words
  2. Adams, Benjamin. “Wāhi, a Discrete Global Grid Gazetteer Built Using Linked Open Data.” International Journal of Digital Earth 10, no. 5 (May 2017): 490–503. PDF.
    7,100 words
  3. Simon, Rainer, Leif Isaksen, Elton Barker, and Pau de Soto Cañamares. “The Pleiades Gazetteer and the Pelagios Project.” In Placing Names: Enriching and Integrating Gazetteers, 97–109, 2016. PDF.
    3,800 words

February 20
Knowledge infrastructures

Total amount of reading for this week: 14,800 words

To read before this class:

  1. Buckland, Michael. “Description and Search: Metadata as Infrastructure.” Brazilian Journal of Information Science 0, no. 0 (2006). PDF.
    3,300 words
  2. Kramer, Stefan, Amber Leahey, Humphrey Southall, Johanna Vompras, and Joachim Wackerowz. “Using RDF to Describe and Link Social Science Data to Related Resources on the Web,” 2012. PDF.
    7,700 words
  3. Richardson, Leonard. “The Enterprise Media Distribution Platform At The End Of This Book,” 2015. https://web.archive.org/web/20200106202251/https://www.crummy.com/writing/speaking/2015-RESTFest/.
    3,800 words
    Reading tips

    Instead of reading the slides, you might prefer to watch a video of the presentation.

February 27
Vague places

Total amount of reading for this week: 17,500 words

Content warning “Perceptual Regions in Texas” contains discussion of ethnic slurs.

To read before this class:

  1. Jordan, Terry G. “Perceptual Regions in Texas.” Geographical Review 68, no. 3 (July 1978): 293. https://doi.org/10.2307/215048.
    5,300 words
  2. Zelinsky, Wilbur. “North America’s Vernacular Regions.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 70, no. 1 (March 1980): 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8306.1980.tb01293.x.
    7,600 words
  3. Lam, Christine S, John P. Wilson, and D a Holmes-Wong. “Building a Neighborhood-Specific Gazetteer for a Digital Archive.” Annual ESRI International User Conference, San Diego, California, 2002. PDF.
    4,600 words

March 5
Sustainable knowledge infrastructures

Total amount of reading for this week: 12,300 words

Today we’ll be joined (via Zoom) by Rainer Simon, Senior Scientist and Research Software Engineer at the Austrian Institute of Technology and Technical Director for Pelagios. Rainer’s Recogito tool allows people to annotate texts and images by linking them to identifiers for people, places, and things. It is widely used to link mentions of places and locations on maps to entries in digital gazetteers. Recogito has received multiple awards for its usefulness and ease-of-use. Part of what makes Recogito successful is that it participates in an ecosystem of tools and datasets that share identifiers for people, places, and things and loosely agree on data formatting standards. Many of the other important tools in this ecosystem are Rainer’s work, such as the Peripleo search engine.

To read before this class:

  1. Star, Susan Leigh, and Geoffrey C. Bowker. “How Infrastructure Happens.” In Handbook of New Media: Social Shaping and Consequences of ICTs, edited by Leah A. Lievrouw and Sonia Livingstone, 154–58. London: Sage, 2002. http://sk.sagepub.com/reference/handbook-of-new-media/i1404.xml#i1418.
    3,900 words
    Reading tips

    “How Infrastructure Happens” is one section of a longer article entitled “How to Infrastructure.” The whole article is worth reading, but if you don’t have the time or interest, at least read the “How Infrastructure Happens” section.

  2. Bowker, Geoffrey C. “Sustainable Knowledge Infrastructures.” In The Promise of Infrastructure, edited by Akhil Gupta and Hannah Appel, 203–222. Duke University Press, 2018. PDF.
    8,400 words

March 12
Spring break

No class.

March 19
Spring break

No class.

March 26
Project proposals

April 2
NC Collection project

April 9
Urbanization project

April 16
Herbarium project

April 23
Project presentations