Voyant Tools is a useful web application that reads and analyzes word documents with the click of a button. Users must copy and paste the document of choice into the box and Voyant Tools does the rest. Voyant Tools will then categorize and chart the different words and phrases used in the document, making it very easy to skim through and pick out information needed within large texts like poems or books.
Voyant Tools is helpful for historians because it can help determine the influence of different languages and dialectics based on what words are used in the document, including the word order and how sentences are constructed around the letter. Let it be known that Voyant Tools is simply a tool, and without the purposeful effort of the person examining the piece of literature, the information Voyant Tools gives is useless.
The ability to quickly access and analyze documents using Voyant Tools is very helpful for Historians. I believe that this tool is quite difficult to use for the average person researching text, but to a knowledgeable historian who understands what the tool is providing can really help with the process of comparing texts, or analyzing words and meaning within the text. I do not personally believe that Voyant Tools offers something that was previously unattainable, but I do believe that its use makes historians jobs much easier. Voyant Tools would make the normal task of comparing texts or analyzing texts much faster than by human effort. With applications like Voyant Tools, the need for Historians or other academic positions to critically analyze and understand the documents they are using in Voyant Tools will always be there because these tools cannot make comments or educated answers on the information it analyzes from the text. Voyant Tools is but a valuable aid in decryption and analyzing texts for human scholars and will never be able to completely replace the historian or analyzer.
The GIS Project I chose to review was Beyond Steel :An Archive of Lehigh Valley Industry and Culture. This GIS documents the mid nineteenth-century boom through late twentieth-century decline of Lehigh Valley. The project looks into major industries like Bethlehem Steel, local churches, schools, government buildings and independent businesses.
The map includes 1900-1901, 1900-1902 Bethlehem Steel employee lists, a database of streets and selected information from the 1900 Census report. This represents the Bethlehem population as well as a good concept of the workers in the steel industry in Lehigh.
The website categorizes the maps information into sections including, business & technology, society & culture, with sub categories including iron & steel, coal & canals, railroads, cements and factories. This makes it easy to recognize points on the mapping system and easily find where those points are explained in the website in detail.
The mapping system was difficult to find on the website, in my opinion I believe it should be more of a focal point in the website, which in this case the information of the GIS is the front page. For improvement, I would move the map to the central point of the website, and have the information slides pop up while clicking on the different points on the map. Once on the map, it is easy to navigate to different points on the map, and since the size of the map is not very big considering it is only mapping Lehigh Valley, I think good detail was involved when creating the map.
Historical archives are useful tools when doing research, specifically research that could benefit using multiple sources. The sources provided in the syllabus are examples of informational archives. They provide a large amount of information that is accessible and searchable in one area. Archives are beneficial to historians because they can access any type of document, letter, biography, essay, that was uploaded to the archive just by searching for specific terms. For example, the Darwin Correspondence Project Archive gives the ability to search all items on the archive that has something to do with Charles Darwin, or that he produced. This helps when doing large amounts of research because it can gather you lots of information with minimal searching effort. Limitations met by archives is that it can only search items that were accepted into the archive which could pose bias on the organizer or suppliers part.
Hello, my name is Josh Anger and I am a second year Con Ed student studying History and Geography. I am originally from Hamilton, but am living in Thorold this school year. After Brock, I plan to become a high school teacher, teaching both History and Geography. Outside of University I still play competitive hockey for a local Junior Hockey Club in Glanbrook. Most of my past time enjoyments include sports and video games. I love almost all sports and love to follow professional sports.
The inevitable coming of digital information, such as eBooks, online libraries and data bases was first saw to be a threat to education and learning. The internet was seen as a non-creditable source, where all items would have the same credibility. But with these changes in the way we read, the way we learn, one of the major changes has been in the amount of items, articles or books we can now find on a specific topic, increasing the amount of information we have at our finger tips when researching topics.
A down fall to digital uses for information is how easy it is to find incorrect information. By using search engines, it will scan all the information in its database to fit what you have typed, and this can also bring up websites that are not accurate information, or even discussion boards where anyone has the power to post what they want. With the use of digital information on the web, it also brings the possibility of losing the original form of the document, book or painting. This is a problem for historical purposes, because we lose some of the meaning and purpose from the physical copy, that would now be either a picture of the physical, or a word document copied by it.
I believe that digital history is an important topic that is very rarely considered in the historical world. Because of my age, I have never had to prepare a historical essay or writing without the use of the internet. And to be quite honest, I think it would be much more difficult to find resources for it. The internet poses a much easier way to find research and information, for not only just history topics. Although I do understand the drawbacks of digital information, and the problems with using search engines and websites for information, I do believe that Digital History is such a large benefit to everyone studying History.