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Top blue bar image The Map Group
A student-led group project from HIST 246

Checking in

Hello, Map Group! Here are a few announcements and suggestions for your work this week.

  1. Ross, were you able to get to the sites for geodata, as you were planning to over the weekend?
  2. Your contract indicates that you all are planning to meet this week and make some more specific plans, and also that you would like to meet with me. I haven’t heard from any of you about setting this up, so just wanted to see whether movement has been made on this front.
  3. I have posted your contract here on the blog for our collective reference. However, I still have some concerns about the “division of labor” section and the “timeline.” The division of labor uses broad words like “compile information” or “work on” the map, but it might be worth spelling out exactly what information–beyond the coordinates and the documents in our archive–you will be compiling. For example, Courtney suggests that you have discussed putting photos of Houston “then” and “now” with each site. But if so, who will be determining if this is possible? That’s not indicated under your division of labor. Your objectives also mention that you would like to provide some context on the sites on your map, if the data allows. Who will determine if the data allows this and document the search for such data? Craig mentions layering historical maps, but who will be working on this? The lack of specificity on your division of labor may be related to the lack of specificity on your timetable. I think it would help your group if you set some more specific target dates between “start the project” and “finish the project.” What will have to done by when? Have you taken into account the GIS/Data Center’s hours in setting these benchmarks?
  4. Courtney wondered whether it would make sense to have a Google Doc to collect your work or just keep notes on the blog. I think it’s a good idea to use the blog to keep track of your work processes and as a scratchpad for work. But I do think it might be useful to make a spreadsheet on Google Docs that can serve as a Master List for all the pinpoints you plan to put on the map, with separate columns for things like “geodata,” “title,” “description,” “image files,” “sources,” etc. etc. That way, if anything happens to your folder in the Data Center, you can retrace your steps and also have a central place for everyone to put information, even without being in the Data Center. The last step can then be to use the spreadsheet to copy and paste the info you need from it into the interface for ArcGIS and actually make your map. If you decide to make such a spreadsheet, please share it with me as soon as you create it.

Let me know if I can be of assistance with any of this.

One Response to “Checking in”

  1. Craig Labbate says:

    Dr. McDaniel,

    In response to your worries about the Division of Labor aspect of our contract, we have updated our Google Spreadsheet to include who is responsible for writing the blurbs for each of the (11) map pinpoints we have chosen. In addition, I have found and had ARCGis help me with overlaying one map of 1913 to our overall map. It’s primary purpose is to show that in 1913-1940 Sam Houston Park and City Hall were the center of Houston’s activities.

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