• Campers

    Jon Voss

    Jon Voss is founder of LookBackMaps, an innovative public history project that is one of many new mashups in the field of historical and cultural heritage websites. He also runs jumpSLIDE networks, a small IT consultancy in San Francisco. Voss has been managing IT projects for non-profits and small to medium businesses in the Bay Area for the last ten years. His work on mapping historical photos stems from a love of history and a chance run-in with a band of privy diggers who excavated the hole of an 1870’s outhouse in his back yard in SF’s Mission district.

    My Posts


    Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 | Jon Voss

    I felt stupid for not being able to figure out how to get an avatar to show up on this digital humanities blog.  But Mark Harvey just explained to me that it magically pulls it from your account at Gravatar.com. So I went over there and it turns out I already had an account (via wordpress.com).  I added an avatar photo, but it was for an old email address. Then I added the email address I used for this site, and assigned an avatar to that email address.  Voila, my mug showed up on the greatlakesthatcamp blog!

    Just thought I’d share in case anyone else was stumped on that one.

    Toward Linked Data In The Humanities

    Sunday, March 7th, 2010 | Jon Voss

    Imagine being able to pull data from hundreds, even thousands, of different sources to create charts and graphs; compare facts, figures, or relationships; or discover patterns that no one ever knew existed.  If you had the ability to do it, what would you set out to find?

    This is the new web of Linked Data that’s envisioned by Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, and amazingly, it’s starting to become reality.  We have accomplished incredible things with a web of documents, but we now have the opportunity to dig deeper to explore the relationships between people, places, and things utilizing graphs rather than tables. It’s like going from The Muppets to Avatar (or if you hated Avatar, pick your own exaggerated analogy for a paradigm shift in technology).

    The humanities stand to benefit enormously by this new opportunity for discovery and analysis.  Not only does it offer the real possibility for bridging isolated archives and data collections, but it opens the door for community contributed links that can significantly amplify long-stagnant archives and records.

    Within the Linked Data movement, there are roles to be played by technologists, developers, researchers, archivists, dreamers and everyone in between.  I’d like to present the Civil War Data 150 Project as just one example of what Linked Data may help us achieve, and invite everyone to come up with creative projects you might pursue if you had the ability to reach across collections, time, and space to explore new networks and relationships of information.

    Graph of data to be mapped from various sources for the Civil War Data 150 Project.