I first came to the Studio in the summer of 2019. I had taken one graduate seminar where I got to create some of my own digital projects, and I wanted to learn more. After getting to craft my very own mapping project over the summer, I ended up taking two more courses that had digital components. In these classes I further developed my DH skills and got to present a map for the first time. It was such a fun project to work on and it was great to get feedback from those in the class who did not have the same DH experience. They were able to offer suggestions on things such as the readability of the map, whether it was user friendly, and what elements of my research were best communicated through the visual of the map.
These are the experiences and projects that I brought with me to the capstone course this semester. When I first signed up for the capstone course, I knew there were a few things I hoped to accomplish. I wanted to keep working on my public facing mapping project, I wanted to create a professional website, and I wanted to learn a little bit about the ArcGIS program. I have been working on this particular map for around 8 months and I had felt like I had done all of the things I could do on my own. I crafted a list of the things that I wanted to add or change about this map that ranged from adding a land acknowledgment that would recognize the indigenous folks who inhabit North America as well as their claims to this land, I wanted to better format the pop-up windows that displayed photographs, and I wanted to figure out a way to include short narratives in each pop up that did not overwhelm the actual point on the map. In addition to this, I wanted to create and launch my own professional website. The academic job market is not the easiest market, so I figured by creating my own website I could house my completed digital projects, emphasize my teaching experience, and highlight my publications. Although many of these things can be found on m C.V., I felt as though a professional website could showcase many of these things better than a two-page document. I had a few ideas of things I wanted to highlight on this website, and I made sure to write those down and add to the list whenever anything new came to mind. Lastly, I wanted to learn about the ArcGIS mapping program. The map I had started over summer did not require me to use ArcGIS, and the former ArcGIS expert had just taken a position elsewhere. When I heard that the Studio had hired a new person who specialized in the program, I knew that I could not pass up this opportunity to work with him.
This blog post is coming at a unique time because we are all currently in our respective places and spaces, with the rest of the semester being held online. This development has definitely altered the ways in which I am able and hoping to approach my work. With some of these changes in mind, I have decided to focus solely on my mapping project and professional website. My map is something that I have put a ton of time and love into and I would really like to have a satisfying version complete in the coming weeks. I am lucky in regard to my professional website because when I first started working on it, I asked a Studio staff member if they would remain on my Wix account to help with any issues I might have. I could simply send him an email and he could advise me on what to do, while also having it in front of him. The website is nearly complete, and I am just waiting to finish my map so that I can imbed it. These two projects are linked in a lot of ways, so that it why I have chosen to really prioritize them both. It has been tough to not have the same access to the Studio and the same drop in meetings with the staff. It has always been easier for me to communicate what sorts of things I want to change or work on, in person, so this has been especially tough.