Going to the Show Project Analysis (Pohlert)

This spatial project focuses on studying the moviegoing patterns in North Carolina from 1896-1930. However, the project also analyzes the effect that race had on moviegoers and the 1200+ different establishments in North Carolina. The focus is on North Carolina because one-third of the population was African American and urban life was where most movies were shown. The analysis of North Carolina allows there to be a cultural and historical significance to be found in moviegoing. The primary research question is: How did racial differences create different experiences in watching films in urban areas, more specifically the South?

Most of the information and results of the study are labeled poorly which makes it hard to find it. There are randomly placed hyperlinks that lead to different pages of the site, but also take you to external pages within the same tab. The important information is featured in Special Features and has different sections that include a timeline (very challenging to navigate through) The project sheds new light on the experience of moviegoers while taking race into account. Most theatres were segregated and were known as black theaters. There is a map that list the different theaters but seems to be outdated. The google map is unable to load properly and has overlays that take away from the learning experience. The layout of the website is simple, yet cluttered. The similar blue colors throughout the project make it hard to find certain things. Although the labels are along the top, there is no clear distinction between any visual aids or more textual information. When reading the special features tab, I was trying to find more subsections about the cultural and social effects of moviegoing in North Carolina. I had to stumble across the thin blue sidebar labeled “contents” to find more info. The site does have great info on the moviegoing activities of people in North Carolina, but it uses outdated technologies.

The mapping software references Google Earth, which is the older term for google maps. This makes it hard to find information on the theaters through the map. There is also a timeline of the theater’s existences, but it is a jumbled mess. The technologies used to create the timeline were very simple and make it hard to know how to navigate through it. I would use more contrasting colors for the site and a better outline for the tabs and info. You can label visual aids in one tab where the maps and timelines are. Then the other labels can consist of textual info and pictures accompanying the info. A lot of the theatres don’t have any information when looking for more context on the theatre. I would have linked the theaters to the textual info under special features to add a historical context to it. Overall, the website successfully provides an in-depth analysis of the cultural differences in moviegoing from 1896 and so on. However, the website is poorly organized, and the technologies used are outdated, so they don’t load properly. The search feature is the most organized and is more helpful in finding information on theaters in specific towns or cities.

The SDSU LGBT Resource Center (Pohlert)

This flyer is for the proposed SDSU LGBT Resource Center to be located in the Student Services building. It is meant to create a safe place for people in the LGBTQ+ community and provides networking and library resources. The proposed plan has a blueprint on the back of the flyer to provide a visual aid for the center and engage the intended audience. It is pretty interesting to see that the Pride Center is the current LGBT Resource Center and located farther from campus by Campanile Walkway. The proposed plan seems to be a better resource center because it would be in the Student Services Building and be bigger than the current Pride Center. I feel like not too many people know where the current Pride Center is because it is in portables and not centrally located on campus.

Railroads and the Making of Modern America (Pohlert and Ali)

Review of “Railroads and the Making of Modern America”              by Pohlert /Ali

Spatial humanities is a field of study that uses technological tools and mapping to analyze human culture, especially focusing on minorities and their outlook on history.

  1. The site is spatialized very well. There are different categories and sections to help navigate the website. There is also a search engine specifically built for the website, which allows people to narrow down their results. It fits loosely into our original definition, but can be changed to include mapping as an important part of spatial humanities.
  2. We see an explicit spatial argument of the interface not being intuitive. The homepage could be organized differently, in a way that makes a more interactive interface. The format of the homepage could be reorganized. The sections/tabs could be turned into side tabs that show previews of the information. An implicit spatial argument in regards to the visual interactive components being difficult to find when they are very useful tools within spatial humanities.
  3. The purpose of the website is to show the history of American railroads, acting as a “research and teaching platform for scholars to test hypotheses and create visualizations of complex processes”. It’s a digital project online from University of Nebraska – Lincoln made graduate students with open-access to help researchers use railroad data.
  4. It’s intended mainly for students conducting research on railroads and other scholars who focus on histories related to the railroad system. It’s also intended for teachers for its tab ‘teaching materials’. Another audience would be families who have ancestors who helped build or lived/died through enslavement and the railroads being built.
  5. The user interface is simple and straightforward, but can be improved visually. It’s slightly cluttered with links. The ‘views’ tab could be renamed to ‘visual aids’ or ‘visual photos’ to establish a better way to move around the website.
  6. The data section could be improved with embedded visuals of the data. The website could also be modernized. It would be more helpful to have the hyperlinks embedded under helpful words, rather than labeled out in a boring, cluttered manner.
  7. We see the website as being quite effective at conveying historical and spatial knowledge, but it could improve its use of digital technologies. The search engine and interactive maps are good uses of digital technology. The visual maps are hidden, so we argue that the website could make these great uses of digital technology more easily visible and accessible.