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Simile Timeline project, “platform independence” concept and Rice Python programming MOOC

April 24, 2013 Leave a comment

I’ve been experimenting with Timeline, a widget from MIT’s SIMILE project, and intend to build one and share it online.

The goal is to create a Louis Armstrong recording Timeline from the 1920s, with images and linking to the recordings (should all be accessible on YouTube in some form).

Basically Armstrong’s 2os recording locations are predictable and uncertain at the same time .  During the 20s he  mostly recorded in Chicago, then New York, then Chicago again, but many of the specific recording studio address are unrecorded (data example:  “OKeh recording session – Chicago, IL – March 1, 1926”).  As a result,  the temporal element is primary, the spatial element secondary.

I’ll probably just put in a divider indicating that he’s back in Chicago after 11/9/1926, maybe with light commentary on events surrounding the move.

[12/16/16 note: I ended up doing a similar project but used TimelineJS (created by Knightlab guru Zach Wise.  My project, currently lying fallow, is Timeline of King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band (1917-1923), focused on Armstrong’s mentor Joe Oliver.  The research aspect is built on a foundation of brilliant scholarship by the University of Richmond’s Gene Anderson and that of many others.]

I might also port it to the Neatline platform, though I don’t expect that to work as well given that the demo projects seem focused on the map elements rather than the timeline.  I may be wrong on this, but the best way to find out is to create it.

The goal is really to create a platform-independent dataset that can be easily plugged into any platform with minimal fuss.  With technology advancing so rapidly, the important thing is not a project’s particular implementation on any one platform,  but rather easy accessibility to the data and media assets that constitute the project.

[I am also currently taking a 9-week Coursera class created by Rice computer science professors, An Introduction to Interactive Programming in PythonI’m enjoying it so far and recommend that anyone interested in learning programming take a look at it.]

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