Source: Mapping Space

I’ve been studying the various articles for our reading this week for the last couple of weeks to use as reference for my Story Map segment of my project for the Kress Fellowship. Unfortunately, I ran into some problems with my Story Map early on, which turned out to be through no fault of my own but due to Story Map being down for a few days. Tedious technical difficulties aside, I have since decided to have a separate timeline and map to tell a micro and a macro story of 16th century art/printing culture. I will focus my timeline on Basel over the span of the 16th century and focusing on the printing families and books they created, and focus my map on Hans Holbein’s well-documented travels (as well as travels speculated on by some historians) across Northern Europe. As inspiration I referenced this “featured Story Map” of the travel-map of Christo and Jean-Claude: I think the “itinerary” feel of the globe trotter is put to great use in StoryMap JS.

Other technical issues that I’m having now but should not be too difficult to figure out: Another features that might be simple but I have yet to master is how, sometimes in the Preview feature, the slides will dynamically hop and zoom in and out between plot points, and sometimes the points will simply be highlighted on an overview map, which isn’t that helpful for the scale of Northern Europe I have chosen as my frame and just takes away some of the sparkle of the automatic zoom in and out between points. I will also need more practice with creating tiles for the Gigapixel features. I don’t have a Gigapixel-sized photo, but I do have the highest quality digital image of the Holbein designed this Lexicon title page we are looking at, when a grant was awarded to the Ackland to take new digital photos to upload to their TMS database recently. I have followed the instructions on exporting to Zoomify in Photoshop, uploading the tiles to my Google Drive, but then I’m a little lost in getting the image on my Story Map. I think this might have been the same issue Erin asked about in class last week. If so, I’d love to see what you did, since between Erin and JJ it sounded like the large image was successfully uploaded to Story Map. The idea is that we can zoom on different aspects of the Tabula Cebetis story, an ancient Greek allegorical moral table by Cebes of Thebes that gained popularity in the early Renaissance and adapted seamlessly into Christian teachings. Once I finally get the large image uploaded, this will ultimately mimic the Bosch Story Map we looked at together in class. Since the moral allegory is a winding tale that would have been taught visually and textually, this tool will give us the ability to guide the viewer from beginning to end (birth to death and lessons learned in between, essentially). Allegorical figures are zoomed in on so we can share some brief historical context on the allegorical symbolism of “Fortuna”, for example.

I will keep the class updated on my Kress Project and share when I’m finished with it, which I think will happen sometime at this end of this week or early next week.  I did create another Story Map for this blog post too. So far in my Story Map on Holbein’s travels I haven’t included any related video, so I wanted to experiment with uploading different media. Looking into Nasreen Mohamed’s work for the Thinglink example last week, I saw that there were a few interesting YouTube videos up, including a preview of the exhibition “Nasreen Mohamedi” at the Met Breuer, which will be on view from March 18 to June 5, 2016. Mohamedi did a lot of traveling, and her deep knowledge and incorporation of various styles and Modernist traditions, Indian and European, is evident in her work. and I think Story Map is a good platform to tell a few different stories and make connections about her life and work, charting the artist’s moves and the exhibition of her work around the world since her death.

Depending on the story you want to tell, another way to interpret historical maps is of course through more concise GIS coordinates. Earlier this semester, I believe in one of my peer comments, I briefly described my experience in a workshop on campus about georeferencing scanned historical maps. I attended mostly out of curiosity, and while ultimately I realized this technology was simply beyond the scope of anything I’m currently researching, it was great to learn that this amazing resource available to us at the Davis Research Hub. Amanda Henley, a GIS Librarian, led the workshop and was very patient and helpful. She really wanted to learn more about our projects and how we intended to use maps so she could tailor to the needs of the participants.  One particularly interesting use of this technology came from a researcher attending the workshop, an archaeologist, who was georeferencing scanned historical maps of Stagville Plantation during the antebellum period, against the present day property.

I am looking forward to clicking through everyone’s Story Maps. I am really interested in this area of Digital Art History and want to incorporate different types of mapping platforms into future Digital Humanities/Digital Art History projects, and come up with more creative things to do with my Mohamedi Story Map – so far I’ve just incorporated some biographical facts to share with you now, but I will be matching images, finding more media, and adding plot points for her travels throughout the years and locations of collections and exhibitions: