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DH Box Overview/OCT. 9th

I was only able to stay for the first half of this workshop so it would be great if some other folks who attend chime in as well.

Here is the DH Box website: http://dhbox.org/

Right now it seems as if the tool is particularly useful for teaching DH tools in the classroom. For example if you try to teach a workshop on Omeka (an online catalog/exhibition tool) and you are using rented lap tops or a computer lab where you do not have the ability to download software, DH box will allow you to use Omeka through a browser. DH box is still a bit new and requires some comfort with command line interactions. There is a lot of documentation online. This is what I gathered I hope other friends will add more comments about what they learned.

2 thoughts on “DH Box Overview/OCT. 9th

  1. Jojo Karlin

    Thank you, Julia! I have been meaning to sort through my notes.

    Digital Fellow Patrick Smyth (English), with support from DF Keith Miyake (Geography, Earth&Environmental Science), led us through some basic functions of the DH Box. The gist of DHBox seems to be a way of setting up these many tools in the cloud for the purposes of browsing their capabilities before setting up your own system (and gathering enough memory) to run your own research projects. It runs through Amazon servers (though they seem to be looking for alternative hosts) and basically you set up an “instance” that belongs to you for the extent of your use. Your instance serves as a virtual computer on which NLTK (Natural Language Toolkit), Omeka, R Studio, Mallet, and iPython already work in blissful harmony. The idea is to sidestep incompatibility issues, getting all the programs on the same page technologically, and make sure you have sufficient space to have the necessary components. Many of these tools are opensource (often with Freemium upgrades available) but they require a lot of legwork to get running.

    Once we had gotten a little sense of what the programs could do (datamining in NLTK, visual curation in Omeka), we played a bit with some available texts using NLTK. With our (my?) limited knowledge of python, it was hard to do much beyond noodle around in Pride and Prejudice and Moby Dick and Monty Python, but our conversations about security of data and research were interesting. DHBox does not ensure the safety of information you investigate there. Hence the idea that it is better for exposing people to the tools than for operating projects.

    For an example of Omeka used to great effect and interesting given this week’s HyperCities focus, check out http://www.floridamemory.com

    Thanks again, Julia!

    -Jojo

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