HyperCities is a DH project database comprised of several smaller DH projects, ranging in subject matter from mapping historical archives to more contemporary logs such as tracking Twitter activity. The cool thing about this project is that it combines and displays several media forms including text files, images, videos while focusing mainly on mapping software that encourages users to come back and look at multiple projects. The project’s layout facilitates interaction by drawing users in with thumbnail visuals and using an ‘expanding’ animation when the user mouses over a specific project to reveal more information about it. The project’s sidebar allows for sorting of the site’s contents to make it even easier to find specific projects. One subproject we found within HyperCities is called Mapping Twitter in Realtime, which allows users to filter through tweets by both subject matter and geographic location using mapping software and an extension of Twitter’s already-established service. Beyond the software being implemented, this project is aesthetically very simple, with mainly white space and standard text. From a back-end standpoint, the project is essentially just a space to host and access other projects, implying that it may be technically more simplistic than it appears. Although this subproject showcases an impressive application of mapping software, it is somewhat imperfect in that it can’t quite keep up with the information it is attempting to track due to the sheer size of this endeavor. Overall, HyperCities is limiting in that many of the subprojects require Google Earth, which in itself enhances the experience but simultaneously prevents many users from experiencing it at all. In addition, while the main portion of the site is aesthetically captivating, the base site is relatively sloppy (some of the links above the subproject links are cut off, rendering them inaccessible). The project is currently being supported by the Harvard University press, which revitalized it in recent years after the project became stagnant. By providing an aesthetically-pleasing space to showcase other DH projects, HyperCities is, in a way, a very small-scale attempt at archiving digital humanities itself, which will become more important in the future as the field continues to expand in content at a rapid rate.
- Writing Assignment #2 : Crowdsourcing
- Writing Assignment 2