This semester I joined the Athens Team and focused on the “event city” topic, using 2004 Athens Summer Olympics as a case.
As a member of Athens team, I worked with my team members under the guidance of Prof. Dillon to build up an Omeka online public platform to collect and exhibit materials about 2004 Athens Summer Olympics. The Athens Omeka includes many different items, including the scenarios of the opening and closing ceremonies of 2004 Athens Summer Olympics, past and present architecture related to the Olympics Games, news reports of the Olympics Games, academic papers about the Olympics Games, and so on. I also applied my translation and linguistic knowledge in the Athens project and built up a word cloud relating the Olympics Games. First, I fetched the comments under the videos of Athens Olympic Games and formed a corpus; then used this corpus to generate a word cloud image. This word cloud image can show people’ s attitude toward Athens Olympic to some extent. From this word cloud image, history and culture are mentioned frequently. In addition to the themes of history and culture, two cities outside Greece, Beijing and Tokyo, are often mentioned too. Before I joined this lab, I had no ideas about how to visualize cities or how to apply my past experiences in visualizing a city. Now, I learned that I can use Omeka to build up an online public platform to collect and exhibit the materials about researching topics.
Aside from Omeka, I also learned how to use Neatline to visualize some materials. Neatline is beneficial for us to combine timeline, maps, words, and images together, which can help us to understand an event clearly. In this lab I also worked with the other two graduate students to learn how to use Neatline. Though we were not familiar with Neatline and encountered many difficulties at first, we finally mastered the skills of using Neatline and we felt excited when we built up our first Neatline. We were also happy to hold a workshop for the other members about how to use Neatline. In the Athens team, we took the Google map of Athens as the base and placed the items in our Athens Omeka to the base map. I have also improved my Neatline skills while doing the Neatline work of Athens Olympic Games.
Both Omeka and Neatline are strong and efficient tools for visualizing cities. In addition to these two tools, I also learned how to read and analyze newspapers from the visualizing aspect. In the past, I thought that I only needed to focus on the literal contents of newspaper, and I had never paid attention to the presentation of news reports. However, in this lab, I learned that not only the font and capital letter but also images and layouts can convey and imply much useful information.
In conclusion, I have learned many skills in this lab, including how to use Omeka and Neatline to visualize materials, and how to analyze the presentation of newspaper. Finally, as a team member of the Athens Team, I am grateful for the help of Prof. Dillon and happy to work with Nicole, Michael, Charlie, and Vaneesha.
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