An excellent meeting took place yesterday, bringing together key players in the Visualising China project, including our mentor, Grant Young from the University of Cambridge. Grant is providing a very useful “critical friend” role on the project.
Before Christmas the development team acquired full access to the Historical Photographs of China collection stored on a French partner’s server and at yesterday’s meeting Jasper Tredgold gave an early demo of what our development team have achieved so far, having harvested metadata plus image links for the collection and importing it into the software developed in our predecessor JISC-funded STARS project.
The demo prompted lots of useful discussion about how users of the website are able to annotate “resources” and link them – semantically and visually – to other resources in the “knowledge base”.
We discussed issues around the linking to third party sources (such as Flickr and You Tube) that Visualising China usefully offers, but which could also raise political sensitivity concerns, potential levels of authority and control over the social software side of Visualising China and possibilities for the ranking and filtering of social annotations according to knowledge about the author who contributed them. The software will continue to be developed to support image annotation and timeline and historical map views of content, as well as integration of more third-party content as time goes on.
Some more excellent discussion took place with our User Experience consultant, who is leading the way we clearly articulate our goals and primary audience for Visualising China at this stage, and also with our Large Data Storage people at the University of Bristol, who are kindly working with us with a view to sustainability beyond the project’s end.