Reconstructing old neighborhoods using big archival data

Welcome to the blog of Human Face of Big Data! This project aims to build big data platforms to archive documents about urban renewal projects from 1970s, provide easy-to-use interfaces that can be used by old residents, archival scientists, and citizens, and ultimately reconstruct the digitized neighborhoods where people can see, read, and share their memories.

This project is two folds: (1) exploring map-based archiving and visualizing techniques, and (2) providing thorough data throughout the urban renewal processes by integrating various kinds of databases and navigation tools. For the map-based archiving and visualizations,  we are currently developing digitizing processes using QGIS, ArcGIS, and other geographical/graphical tools to better present old maps and associated information on online platforms. Also, user-centered UI design methods are used to develop user-friendly interfaces.

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If you are interested in this project, feel free to contact us!

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UX Team Update

Within the past month, the UX team has been working on transcriptions with the help of Jhon and Hyeong-gi. By the end of the week, the team should have around 30 transcriptions and have at least 3 data patterns. Their weekly tasks include: completing two documents per week before Sunday and meeting up on Monday to discuss results. The team hopes to get to the UX design by the week of November 15th.  To keep in touch with the team, I message Justin and the others through GroupMe, a group text messaging app.

The major roadblock that the team is experiencing is communication and motivation. These issues can be fixed in a short amount of time.

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Database Team Update

For the past 2 weeks, the database team has been working on the tasks that they were assigned and goals that they have set as a team for the month of October. They started out by cleaning up the image files uploaded in UMD box. They went through all 2,681 images and made sure that the file name has the appropriate format and changed those that did not.

The database team is also collaborating with the Web Development team to improve image file paths to the PostgreSQL DB by using PHP and JavaScript. They have made significant progress despite most of the team not having any experience in both coding languages. They added an “image paths” table and made relevant fields in our database. Also, they are currently learning PHP from scratch in order to extract the image file names into the “image paths” table.

Since most of the members of the Database team are only learning about databases this semester, they have faced a lot of issue and roadblocks. However, they are also receiving a lot of help from more experienced members of the Web Development team as well as from Myeong. Despite all the challenges they are enjoying the learning process and will continue to work hard to achieve their goals for this month.

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Local Environment Setup Using Vagrant

Hello, everyone!

We are back with this week’s update about the project by the web team.

So far, Web Development team and Database Design team have set up the local environment so that any individual member can work on this project on his/her computer. Since everyone has different work environments (such as different OS and versions), we had to create a virtual machine that has exactly same environment so that we can avoid any unsupported error issue. To set up the virtual machine environment, we have used Vagrant script, which installs the necessary programs only.

Due to the unfamiliarity of the team members with the use of Vagrant, they faced issues and the Vagrant script was causing some error. However, in the end, the members were  provided with the new Vagrant script by our project head, Myeong, that sets up the correct local work environment, and all the members were able to set the environment completely.

Currently, the team is working on importing image file paths to the PostgreSQL DB by using PHP and JavaScript. Despite having midterms in this week, the team is trying to finish the tasks by the end of this week.

For more updates related to the project, stay tuned with us! Until then.. Good bye!

 

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UPDATE: October 2017 – Where we stand…

This Fall 2017, an updated group of contributors will be putting work into moving this important project forward.

Over the course of the summer, the continuing project group completed an immense amount of work, transcribing important data from ~500 document files. We still have another ~400 to go, but the progress that has been made has allowed us to identify information patterns. These patterns help us to begin to imagine the future of our online interface, as well as comprehend the social (Human Face) implications inherent to better understanding the raw data (of Big Data) that we have collected.

For the rest of 2017, we will be splitting the project into 4 major break-out groups.

  1. Web Development & System Administration
  2. Database Design & Management
  3. Digital Archivism & User Experience Design
  4. Project Management & User Needs Study

Check back each week as we plan to provide project updates, to keep you posted on our progress.

DCIC Project Showcase

We will be presenting our progress & findings in a  showcase alongside other DCIC projects on December 4th, 2017 @ Hornbake from 4:30-6:30.

 

 

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Priscilla’s Award Ceremony at UNCA

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