Some text in which to test
Posted in DHO.
– 7 June 2011
So, Shawn has finally returned to trying to get some research (my own)-related writing happening (it’s only taken me two years to get back to it). And as those that know me realise, I am very place-conscious when it comes to finding the magic Third Place that I need to work effectively. The parameters are defined:
Posted in Technology.
– 16 August 2010
With a few spare hours to spend before the DHO Summer School, I decided to revisit Glasnevin Cemetery and check out the new interpretive centre. As you may remember from my earlier post, there was a grand, but damp ceremony staged to reopen the refurbished crypt of Daniel O’Connell late last year. When there I was impressed by this swoopy modernistic centre being built to welcome visitors to Glasnevin. Well, it opened a few months back and I finally got a chance to visit it.
A little background, to prove I actually visited the centre and took in a little of the knowledge they are dispensing. Glasnevin is a non-denominational cemetery that was opened in 1832 and is the largest cemetery in Ireland. Think Pere Lachaise in a less rolling and less forested surrounding. There are over one million souls buried in Glasnevin. Continued…
Posted in Uncategorized.
– 21 July 2010
An amazingly gorgeous weekend in Ireland and I was invited to join with some friends heading up Lugnaquilla. It’s the highest point in Leinster and so wonderfully accessible from Dublin. I biked out to Stillorgan and we drove down through Wicklow to Glenmalure to begin our ascent. The drive itself is a treat as you pass through some of the most scenic glens and passes. 50 minutes from Dublin we kitted up for the climb. After our outing to Scarr a couple weeks ago, doubling our summits was a heady goal (500m to 975m) – but we were ready for it.
The four of us set out before noon and the day couldn’t have been better for it. The ascent from Glenmalure is in stages; each one a very different experience. After setting of on a trail, we quickly took a shortcut up through a steeper wooded area. That set the tone for the day. Rejoining the trail, we came to our first steep portion marked by a lovely waterfall rushing down probably 75m of exposed rock. Continued…
Posted in Uncategorized.
– 14 June 2010
Eric Fischer has posted a new series of visualisations ‘Locals and Tourists‘ depicting the location of photos taken in urban areas around the world. In this
series he attempts to distinguish between those taken by tourists (people who seem to be a local of a different city and who took pictures in this city for less than a month) and those by locals (people who have taken pictures in this city dated over a range of a month or more). Intriguing.
I was struck by his ingenious re-use of the existing data to create new information. By exploring individuals posted pictures over time he was able to hypothesise as to whether they were visiting or residing in a particular area. This allowed for a means to compare the gaze of the two groups.
I immediately started to explore his map of Dublin to see if any patterns emerged and then to try and suggest explanations for them. There is a healthy and regular mix of photos by both groups in the central core, but immediately to the east is a large blue box of photos taken by locals. It appears to surround the new Aviva Lansdowne Stadium in Ballsbridge. On the northside there is a similar cluster of photographs by locals taken at the National Botanical Gardens. Interestingly around the Powerscrourt area to the south of the city are a cluster of photographs which cannot be distinguished as being from locals or tourists (yellow in colour). Fischer’s methodology of distinguishing between locals and tourists suggests that the people posting photos of Powerscourt revisit the area on an irregular basis or post pictures irregularly from only a select group of places. Interesting.
The most practical application of Locals versus tourists is to consider how a visitor might use these visualisations to find the hidden city known only to its inhabitants – to find those secret spots worthy of capture by locals, but seemingly missed in the tourist guides.
This set builds on his earlier work ‘The Geotaggers’ World Atlas‘ looking at from where the pictures were taken, whether from car, bicyle or when walking.
Posted in Visualisation.
– 9 June 2010
After a lovely weekend down at the end of the road in Garnish, West Cork, we found ourselves passing through the village of Béal na mBláth. Taking the opportunity and being so close we decided to visit the site of the the ambush of Michael Collins and his subsequent death at a bend in the road just outside Béal na mBláth. The ambush site is marked by a huge celtic cross and an interpretative sign located approximately where Collins was shot in August 1922. A small marker (which I show here) marks the spot where Collins expired.
Michael Collins was one of the leaders in the movement that resulted in Irish independence and was tragically assassinated on an inspection tour of his home county of Cork during the Irish Civil War. Continued…
Posted in History, Ireland.
– 4 May 2010
Walking into Rinsgend last night I was just struck on what a pleasant evening it was. Here’s a lovely shot looking down the Dodder towards the nearly complete Aviva Stadium with the Dublin Mountains in the background. It occurs that just to the right side of the Stadium you can even see the shape of Sugarloaf off in the distance.
Posted in Uncategorized.
– 10 March 2010
Although a rather ‘soft’ day yesterday, circumstances demanded a flying visit to Glasnevin Cemetery. The occasion was the public opening of the crypt of Daniel O’Connell, one of the great Irish figures of the nineteenth century. I felt compelled to make the journey, and with a small group of weather braving souls we paid a sort of tribute to the Great Liberator.
I have been wanting to visit Glasnevin since arriving in Ireland and it had, until yesterday, eluded my grasp. The cemetery as you can read from the linked wikipedia article is the largest nondenominational cemetery on the island and it contains the last resting spots of some of the most notable public figures of the last two centuries. In fact, the article claims it contains the remains of over 1.5M souls. That seems a rather heady claim, but bears consideration. Existing during famine times the cemetery existed during a period when roman catholics were not permitted to maintain their own cemeteries and had to conduct what rites they could in protestant graveyards. Continued…
Posted in Ireland.
– 22 October 2009
Well, after a long hiatus here’s a quick blog post. Won’t try to cover all that has changed since the last one…now married and living in a fine house in Dublin. I do feel driven to cover the vote on Lisbon tomorrow.
When I started here last year I just missed the No vote. I did witness the multitude of signs on all the street posts (resoundingly no) and I have a collection somewhere. This time around the Yes side is determined not to be caught napping. Tomorrow will tell the tale.
On the absolutely esoteric side, I wanted to share a couple posters. This first No poster, I simply don’t get, but then maybe I am missing all the subtle hints. There are actually two versions. One is dated 1945-2009 – the other 1916 -2009 and the tag line – European/Irish Democracy? What the hell do they mean? They both feature the same little girl’s face with the eyes changed in colour…a lovely green tint for the nod towards the Easter Rising. I just have no clue. Is a poster like this supposed to make me want to vote no? Am I defending the poor waif’s shattered dreams? The poor wee thing.
Just to be somewhat even handed though, here’s another crap poster (there are good ones out there too) by the yes side entitled ‘Yes in the City.’ Almost enough to vote No. Not sure what this one is trying to convey either, but all it says to me is that Yes means materialism and whiny navel gazing. I feel compelled to protected my country of residence from that sort of thing.
All the signage does make for the most colourful street scenes, so to make up for the fine autumnal colours that I expect that I am missing in Canada, I am finding my enjoyment on street lamp foliage rather than maple trees this season.
Posted in Ireland, Lifestyle.
– 1 October 2009
Yesterday I had the honour of giving the first seminar in the Long Room Hub Methods Series at Trinity. I presented a paper entitled ‘Visualising Historical Data’ to a packed room. We had 45 people in the room, some sitting on the floor, and apparently another dozen or so were turned away at the door. Jennifer Edmond gave me a warm and thoughtful introduction and I then launched into a high-level discussion of a few of the very interesting and innovative tools and methods available for working with both structured and unstructured text and numbers. The talk was intended to merely spark interest and hope that attendees might be inspired to try something new with their own research data.
The talk explored tag clouds of a couple varieties, tree maps, timelines, and introduced OpenCalais as a machine driven means to apply context to data. We had a very fruitful discussion afterward as attendees raised some very intriguing questions ranging from issues of visual misrepresentation, the role of the consumer of the visualisation in the making judgements, as well as privacy and the crucial importance of not losing sight of traditional research fundamentals in the glitz of technological toys. I attempted to convey the use of data visualisation for both analytical process and as a means of presenting research findings. Technology forced me to present using PDF as the presentation driver and thankfully the last minute change came off without a hitch. Hopefully, if technology cooperated, the talk will be available for public consumption through iTunes U very shortly.
It was my pleasure to be invited to give the talk and I thank Jason McElligott and Jennifer Edmonds fo the opportunity. I was enormously pleased by the interest in data visualisation in the humanities and certainly this looks like a very ripe area for the DHO to focus some efforts as part of our mandate.
The talk was delivered in the Trinity Irish Art Research Centre which is housed in the renovated Provost’s House Stables. A very unique location and a rather cool architectural reuse.
Posted in Seminars, TCD, Visualisation.
– 29 October 2008