May kicked off with a bang for the Humanities Arts and Social Sciences Data Enhanced Virtual Laboratory (HASS DEVL) team, as they gathered in Melbourne for a project architecture workshop. That workshop firmed up the format in which information will be presented in our workbench environment, and clarified the focus of our consultations. The team explored options for accessing tools in a workbench environment, and played with a group of real and theoretical user profiles, considering how potential users would discover and use our DEVL outputs. It was a big day of whiteboards, butcher’s paper and coloured markers, and re-focused the group for the next steps!
We also held the first meeting of our Technical Advisory Group. This group brings together colleagues from universities and the GLAM sector with a wealth of experience handling and using data, data sharing platforms, and tools that are of interest to the humanities research community. They will provide critical review at certain stages of the project, and are a useful and appreciated sounding board for ideas and approaches as the project progresses.
The HASS DEVL workbench environment team have been experimenting with various transcription tools, ascertaining the utility of accessible tools such as From the Page, DigiVol and Transkribus. They are documenting the outputs using some of our test cases and those learnings will inform the workbench environment. At the same time, they have been working with the developers of text analysis tools to ensure their accessibility and efficacy, based on the outcomes of our consultations.
The data curation team has reported successes in the first publication of Australian Data Archive (ADA) sourced historic census data into the AURIN Portal and API. This migrates ADA historic census data into an environment that allows spatial analysis and API access. The process requires further testing to demonstrate reproducibility and the team are working on how to generalise that process for other purposes.
The geocoding team are gathering datasets that include place names to test available geocoding tools, and have run through the process for some data already. Each test helps us identify new challenges, informing the design of the tools.
Meanwhile, the skills and training team have developed a standard workshop format and are developing content and exercises that will complement the workbench environment and data curation outputs.
On Friday, 18th May we held the first in our new series of Digital Humanities Pathways events at the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre in Perth. This brought together humanities researchers and GLAM sector leaders for a rich day of presentations and discussions. You can read a recap of that event here. Further Pathways events are planned around the country between July and October; watch the Cultures and Communities eNewsletter for updates.
Finally, the HASS DEVL team has been connecting with diverse communities. Program Manager Sarah Nisbet presented at the Collaborative Conference on Computational and Data Intensive Science (C3DIS), and will be part of the ANDS/RDS/Nectar Tech Talks two-part series ‘Developing Australia’s Data Enhanced Virtual Labs’ on 6 July. ANDS/RDS/Nectar Tech Talks connect sites around the country, and by video conference, you can register for the first in that series here.
Be sure to keep an eye out for upcoming Cultures and Communities newsletters for the latest updates.
Research Engagement Specialist.