Archive for February, 2012

  • A kid-friendly THATCamp!


    out of the nestLet’s admit it: we love THATCamps because they make us kids again. They’re like perfect sandboxes and brand-new Crayons and the first day of school combined. We get to make new friends, invite them to play with the building blocks we share — and enjoy some willful trespassing in unfamiliar fields and methodologies, all the while thumbing our noses, for a day or two, at authority: conventional conference and presentation formats, disciplinary boundaries, and those class divisions in the academy that we all know to be bogus, man. Totally bogus. (Are you going to drink your chocolate milk?)

    Inspired by past conversations about our own child-like wonder at unconferences, the shared goal of the digital humanities community to instill a maker’s ethos in the next generation (young or less young), and our perennial need for babysitting in order to attend events like this — we are declaring THATCampVA 2012 to be a kid-friendly THATCamp!

    A couple of kids in the 8- to 13-year-old age-range have already signed up to attend along with their parents — and we are both extending the deadline and opening up some extra slots to accommodate new registrants. Kids will be welcome to accompany parents or guardians at our Friday workshops (where they might especially enjoy some DIY aerial photography), as well as to attend all day on Saturday. Depending on junior THATCamper turnout, we will either let the kids self-organize some sessions of their own, or you can bring them along to the grown-up conversations you think they’ll find interesting.

    So if you were reluctant to sign up because it meant leaving the little guys at home, or if you’re excited at the chance to spend some time geeking out together on technology in the humanities — please REGISTER BY MONDAY MORNING, March the 5th.

  • The clock is ticking!


    In just a little over a week, the application period will close for THATCamp Virginia 2012! Be sure to register to attend by March 1st.


  • Workshop: Do-It-Yourself Aerial Photography


    And as promised, a description of the second workshop offered at THATCampVA on Friday, April 20. Indicate your interest when you register for THATCampVA.  From instructors Chris Gist and Kelly Johnston:

    Need aerial images for a scholarly publication or research project and can’t find any that fit your needs?  How about making your own?  Grassroots mapping is an idea that allows people to survey and map what is important to them.  People have surveyed oil spills, public demonstrations, small archaeological sites, etc.  at a scale that fits their needs by dangling cameras from balloons and kites.  They then use software to mosaic their aerial photographs into larger scenes that can be easily shared via Google Maps, Google Earth, or other digital mapping tools.

    Come learn techniques to fly your own camera, make your own mosaics and go fly a kite (or balloon in this case)!

    UPDATE: check out our post on the test flights!


  • Workshop: Neatline: Plot your course in space and time


    THATCampVA will open on Friday, April 20, with your choice of two workshops.  The first of them, on a soon-to-be-launched tool for the spatial humanities, comes from instructor David McClure (co-teaching with Eric Rochester):

    Neatline is a geo-temporal mapping application built on top of the Omeka framework that makes it possible to plot any collection of things – objects, letters, buildings, photographs, events, people, imaginative topologies – on maps and timelines. Built by the Scholars’ Lab in collaboration with the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media and supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress, Neatline provides a native environment in which to represent arguments, narratives, and stories that are fundamentally rooted in space and place.

    The 2-hour workshop will start with a basic overview of the software – what it is, where it came from, the types of use-cases it’s designed to accommodate – and then move into the nitty-gritty of creating exhibits, configuring custom layouts, and plotting records on the map and timeline. The workshop will also touch on some more specialized techniques that make it possible to represent hierarchical relationships among records, create custom styles for map vectors and timeline spans, and edit the ordering of the content in an exhibit to create narratives and linear progressions.

    If you have a laptop, you’ll be able to follow along in real-time using a public webservice soon to be launched at

    Stay tuned for a bit more illumination on the DIY Aerial Photography workshop next week.

  • Start your engines! THATCampVA 2012 is ready to roll.


    We’re excited to say that registration is now open for approximately 75 participants at THATCampVA!  Slots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so register early.

           Register now!

    CLOSING DATE: March 1 March 5, per this update

    What’s this now?
    You know! A regional THATCamp.


    THATCampVA will be held on Friday and Saturday, April 20-21, 2012. Friday will open at 3:00 with your choice of two-hour workshops, one focusing on DIY Aerial Photography and the other on the newly-launched Neatline.  And then on Saturday the THATCampVA unconference itself, with sessions generated by the participants, will be held 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Opportunities for social time with friends old and new will be available on Friday night, April 20, at nearby establishments.

    Charlottesville, Virginia (at UVA Library’s Scholars’ Lab)

    Organizers include digital humanities folks from UVA, Mary Washington, and other central Virginia institutions — but this is your unconference!

    Anybody with energy and an interest in the humanities and/or technology should attend: graduate students, scholars, librarians, archivists, museum professionals, developers and programmers, administrators, managers, and funders; people from the non-profit sector, the for-profit sector, and interested amateurs.  We say any- and everybody, and especially those who would find this interesting but who may never have been to a THATCamp or anything like it before.

    Questions in the meantime? Email us!

    Look here for more news soon — and follow us at @THATCampVA.

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