Lab Assignment #3: My findings

After comparing the projects on the two platforms: Neatline and Hypercities, I realize that a successful geospatial DH project should be accessible, maintainable, and useful.

In general, a website presenting any DH project should consider its accessibility and maintainability. The projects chose the Hypercities as their platform were essentially “dead” when the Hypercities’ google-earth-based plug-in became no longer accessible. In another word, those projects could not be updated by scholars since the platform is no longer maintainable and updatable. To the contrary, the projects on the Neatline are readable and navigable with the aesthetic user interface thanks to the constantly updating platform. Neatline also gives extra hypertext ability to the project which strengthens the readability by allowing scholars to establish links among specific time, geographical locations, and text contents in a same web page.

Although Neatline is utterly a more sustainable platform than Hypercities, the projects based on Hypercities made a variety of unique arguments. Those projects, such as the twitter mapping, and the green street projects, emphasize on the importance of geographical location where the human activities take place. Instead, Neatline projects more focus on explaining and interpreting human activities through a geospatial lens. The fact that those two approaches are equally important to the spatial humanities, reminds us that the accessibility and maintainability are only the basic requirements, and an inspiring argument is what really solidifies a DH project.

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