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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). ... 

Using WWI Draft Registration Cards for Research: NARA Records Provide Crucial Data

NARA:   	 World War I photograph, 1918 (ARC Identifier: 285374)

In the HealthDay article Having Lots of Kids Helps Dads Live to 100, a recent study was described that examined what increased the chances of a man living past 100.

A young, trim farmer with four or more children: According to a new study, that’s the ideal profile for American men hoping to reach 100 years of age. The research, based largely on data from World War I draft cards, suggests that keeping off excess weight in youth, farming and fathering a large number of offspring all help men live past a century. ... 

SAA2007: Archives and E-Commerce, Three Case Studies (Session 404)

George Washington US DollarDiane Kaplan, of Yale University Library’s Manuscripts and Archives unit, started off Session 404 (officially titled Exploring the Headwaters of the Revenue Stream) by thanking everyone for showing up for the last session of the day. This was a one hour session that examined ways to generate new funds through e-commerce . Three different e-commerce case studies were presented, followed by a short question and answer period. ... 

Blog Action Day: A Look At Earth Day as Archived Online

In honor of this year’s Blog Action Day theme of discussing the environment, I decided to see what records the Internet had available about the history of Earth Day.

I started by simply Googling Earth Day. In a new browser window I opened the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. These were to be my two main avenues for unearthing the way that Earth Day was represented on the internet over the years. ... 

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. ... 

Google, Privacy, Records Managment and Archives

BoingBoing.net posted on March 14 and March 15 about Google’s announcement of a plan to change their log retention policy . Their new plan is to strip parts of IP data from records in order to protect privacy. Read more in the AP article covering the announcement.

For those who are not familiar with them – IP addresses are made up of sets of numbers and look something like 192.39.288.3. To see how good a job they can do figuring out the location you are in right now – go to IP Address or IP Address Guide (click on ‘Find City’). ...