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Category: interface design

Clustering Data: Generating Organization from the Ground Up

Flickr: water tag clustersMy trip to the 2008 Information Architecture Summit (IA Summit) down in Miami has me thinking a lot about helping people find information. In this post I am going to examine clustering data.

Flickr Tag Clusters
Tag clusters are not new on Flickr – they were announced way back in August of 2005. The best way to understand tag clusters is to look at a few. Some of my favorites are the water clusters (shown in the image above). From this page you can view the reflection/nature/green cluster, the sky/lake/river cluster, the blue/beach/sun cluster or the sea/sand/waves cluster. ... 

Of Pirates, Treasure Chests and Keys: Improving Access to Digitized Materials

Key to Anything by Stoker Studios (flickr)Dan Cohen posted yesterday about what he calls The Pirate Problem. Basically the Pirate Problem can be summed up as “there are ways of acting and thinking that we can’t understand or anticipate.” Why is that a ‘Pirate Problem’? Because a pirate pub opened near his home and rather than folding shortly thereafter due to lack of interest from the ‘very serious professionals’ who populate DC suburbs – the pub was a rousing success due to the pirate aficionados who came out of the woodwork to sing sea shanties and drink grog. This surprising turn of events highlighted for him the fact that there are many ways of acting and thinking (some people even know all the words to sea shanties without needing sheet music). ... 

SAA2008 Here I Come! After the Revolution: Unleashing the Power of EAD

SAA2008 I got the word just before the holidays – the panel proposal of which I was a part has been accepted for SAA 2008 in San Francisco . The title of the panel is ‘After the Revolution: Unleashing the Power of EAD’ and the working title for my paper/presentation is ‘Visualizing Archival Collections: Leveraging the Power of EAD’.

My co-presenters are Max Evans (currently of the NHPRC, soon to be of the LDS Church Historical Department) and Elizabeth Yakel (of University of Michigan, School of Information). Jodi Allison-Bunnell from Northwest Digital Archives, Orbis Cascade Alliance is our panel Chair. ... 

Visualizing Archival Collections

As I mentioned earlier, I am taking an Information Visualization class this term. For our final class project I managed to inspire two other classmates to join me in creating a visualization tool based on the structured data found in the XML version of EAD finding aids.

We started with the XML of the EAD finding aids from University of Maryland’s ArchivesUM and the Library of Congress Finding Aids. My teammates have written a parser that extracts various things from the XML such as title, collection size, inclusive dates and subjects. Our goal is to create an innovative way to improve the exploration and understanding of archival collections using an interactive visualization. ... 

Getting Your Toes Wet: Basic Principals of Design for the New Web

Ellyssa Kroski of InfoTangle has created a great overview of current trends in website and application design in her post Information Design for the New Web. If you are going to Computers in Libraries, you can see her present the ideas she discusses in her post in a session of the same name on Monday April 16.

She highlights 3 core principles with clear explanations and great examples:

  • Keep it Simple
  • Make it Social
  • Offer Alternate Navigation

As archives continue to dive into the deep end of the internet pool, more and more archivists will find themselves participating in discussions about website design choices. Understanding basic principals like those discussed in Kroski’s post will go a long way to making archivists feel more comfortable contributing to these sorts of discussions. ...