January 23, 2020

Week 2: Digital Project Reviews

John Forest

American Panorama:


When I looked at American Panorama and something I really liked about it was it’s simplicity. I was able to find whatever I might want from the front page of their website. I also liked how interactive the website was, nothing on the site was static, when you hovered over an image there was something else you could do, or more information to look at. Something that is a weakness inside of its strength is the fact that it is only one page. There could have been more information about a separate page about the project, who made it, why it was made, what more is coming soon and other questions like those.

Mapping the Republic of Letters


When looking at the case studies on it’s dedicated page, I liked the variety of different instances I could explore. The pictures were uniform, visually appealing and labeled efficiently (I always knew what I was looking at). Something that I didn’t like, which I would try to refrain from, would be the color scheme. It could just be safari (the browser I use), but I found it really difficult to read the text because of the font size and color. I actually didn’t read any of it at first, I had to force myself to go back and read it so I could find out the purpose.

St. John’s Micro History Mapping Project:


Keeping on the mapping theme, I took a look at another map oriented project. There is a lot of informative information on this project! Reading through it gave me insight into the process that this student went through while she creating this project. The downside to this is that I had to read a massive wall of text, and that bored me to death. Something I really liked was the interactive map. I thought it was cool that I could look at a point on the map, click for more data, and find more useful information (metadata) about that landmark. Something I would like to incorporate into my project is the references at the bottom of the ‘more information’ pages, if I wanted to read more I would be able to.

Mapping Early American Elections:


Through the Journal of American History, I found yet another project that is focused around maps. I found it interesting that this project gave so much context into the material in their project. Unfortunately, I did not get an opportunity to learn about James Farmer when I was in high school and even some college classes. Having background material and information on our site might be critical, at the minimum I would like to give links to other resources where someone could learn more about Dr. Farmer. something I found distracting was that there was a large sidebar filled with information, that was also on its own dedicated page. I feel like it’s good to have the purpose of the project front and center, but the rest of the information may be better suited in the background (where others can look if they feel like they need it).