Category Archives: Taxonomy

JSON Examples and Links

If you’d like to look more closely at the JSON examples discussed in class, here are the exhibits from the handout. To test their validity, you can copy each one to your clipboard and paste it into the JSONLint site and click on "Validate." You may also want to take a look at the JSON specification page that I had up on the screen.

If you still feel a bit lost with these examples, don’t worry; we will spend more time clearing up confusion on Friday and throughout the next week. The point of these exercises is to show some of the challenge that comes from representing information that is interesting to humanists in formats that computers can more easily digest. On Friday, we’ll also talk about the arguably more challenging task of deciding what information we want to represent!

These are the other links that were discussed today:

Finally, after today’s lightning-quick introduction, you may be interested in knowing why historian Ian Milligan thinks that JSON rocks.

Ontology, Taxonomy and Folksonomy

Last Friday, I attended the second meeting of the Digital Humanities group at the University of Houston and enjoyed the conversation. Because of the readings, some of the discussion revolved around whether digital technologies and humanities work are compatible or necessarily at odds.

Some scholars, like Gary Hall and Johanna Drucker, believe that what computers do and what humanists do are fundamentally different. One critique goes something like this: computers need reality to be comprehensible in terms of ones and zeroes, while humanists understand that reality is messy, ambiguous, and never fully captured by binary categories.

This reminded me of our discussion last month about the Emancipation Event Types on the Visualizing Emancipation project; part of the visualization’s power lies in its ability to filter out particular kinds of events, but some of you were uncomfortable with placing each event squarely within only one of these categories, while others questioned whether all of the event types should be considered “emancipation” events.
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