DH Project Analysis

Richmond Mapping

What is the difference between a website and a DH Project?

A website is largely just information posted online that users can navigate through. A digital humanities project is something interactive that users can themselves evaluate and draw conclusions.

 

Research Question being examined:

What role did race play in the politics of the 1930s and how did this impact the landscape of Richmond, VA?

 

Evaluation based on Presner criteria:

-fundamentals

It works. Map feature overlaid on Google Maps, able to click through with relative ease. Can read about authors motivations and background of the issue being examined.

-crediting

Both a notes and an about page that detail all contributions made.

-intellectual rigor

Allows the user to assess what role race played in politics of the early 20th century through statistics etc. Extensive information on everything one might need to formulate their own hypothesis. User could go through entire map information and become informed/ have an opinion on whether race played a factor.

-Crossing

Have impact on teachings/ thoughts about inherent racial biases, policy implications, new ways of looking at other laws passed during the time etc. Looking at current zoning etc. to see if any of these features still exist

-Accessibility

Put overlay of their map onto google maps, made it interactive. Pretty intuitive/simple/accessible, although if you have never used google maps it might be a little frustrating. Nothing too crazy going on, so there should be relative ease of internet access.

-manipulability

You can click through the map and see different statistics etc., a little annoying that you have to keep going to a new window if you want more in depth information. Clear color coding and categorization.

-peer review

A quick Google search of the project reveals a number of articles written about the work. A more extensive search would need to be done to see if the work has been referenced in academic Journals.

-impact

I don’t know that there is a way to assess the impact of this project. One would have to look at policy changes, if this has been used in classrooms at all, or if this has spurred similar projects in different areas.

-approximating equivalencies

There were six different scholars who contributed to this work, with each taking on a number of different research roles. I think the digital work in particular, specifically the programming of the site, was definitely a significant undertaking.

-Development Cycles, Sustainability, and Ethics

In terms of ethics I don’t think there is anything to review in this project. Looking at the development cycle, I would say this project is finished. However, I could definitely see spin-offs or other ways to build upon this work, like looking at the effects of redlining on other neighborhoods throughout the country.

Experimentation and Risk-Taking

I don’t know if I would call this work a risk, but it definitely experiments and attempts to provide a clear visualization of an issue in order to increase the understanding of it. in the manner that the scholars did so, they definitely utilized their creative ability and experimented with unique ways to transmit information.

 

-Brett Mele