Over the last four years, I have worked on several Digital Humanities projects. TAPoR, led by Dr. Geoffrey Rockwell at the University of Alberta, is the longest-standing of them. I joined this project in the fall of 2011 as a green student, and, as of July 2014, I’m still a major contributor to the team as a post-graduate. TAPoR is the project I’ve been involved with longest, and one I’ve been privileged to leave a significant mark on.
I’ve worked on two branches of the project, the TAPoR tool discovery portal, and its affiliated suite of text analysis tools, the TAPoRware toolset (maintained, but no longer updated). My tenure with the TAPoR portal in particular has included direct involvement in populating and shaping the site, from its debut as TAPoR 2.0, to the current 2.5 iteration, and the 3.0 iteration currently in development.
Most recently, I proposed and developed a major research project within TAPoR, the historic tool network analysis. For this, I conducted a thorough examination of the journal Computers and the Humanities, a major Digital Humanities publication active from 1966 through 2004, for information about early computer-based tool development, tool interrelationships and the debate surrounding the value of Digital Humanists becoming active, informed programmers. From my data, fellow research assistant Ryan Chartier constructed an interactive visualization showing tool relationships based on mentions within the corpus.
I’ve been involved with TAPoR in numerous capacities at this stage. These include:
- Extensive testing of the TAPoRware toolset, for the purpose of locating bugs and writing up individual tools’ strengths, weaknesses and quirks for the TAPoR 2.5 portal
- A major update to the user help documentation for the TAPoRware toolset, which I wrote and executed on level of the website’s file structure in preparation for their retirement from active development
- Developing a glossary of common text analysis terminology for TAPoRware users, currently hosted at http://hermeneuti.ca/.
- Contributing nine documentation pages to the Tool and Badge Bazaar and Tool Testing and Reviewing subsections of the TAPoR Redesign wiki
- Entering over 200 Digital Humanities tools into the TAPoR Portal, including developing metadata
- Contributing tool reviews to the TAPoR Portal
- Championing the historic tools section of the TAPoR portal, including researching and adding entries for historic tools, researching and writing historic tool reviews
- Responding to user comments and emails, including updating the @tapordotca Twitter account with new additions to the site
- Working closely with the technical team to conduct site bug testing and discuss additions to the site user interface, such as the recent addition of user accounts, the user tool entry function, and social media integration
- Mentoring new project members
- Contributing papers to conference panels to CSDH/SCHN (Canadian Society for Digital Humanities) at Congress related to my work on TAPoR, in 2012, 2013 and 2014