Posts Tagged ‘Omeka’

Project UPDATES!

As we officially end the second (cold) month of 2014, below is a list of some interesting project updates:

A couple of weeks ago, we finally launched the Digital Literacy Partnership website.  This project -led by Valerie Ubbes- promotes the contributions of literacy, health, and technology on learning; it runs on three Omeka and interdisciplinary databases and content include print and electronic materials for children, youth, and adults.  For me, it’s been an opportunity to install/customize some Omeka plugins using PHP and jQuery.
DLP at Miami University
The simple search function is one piece that still requires some extra work, I see this as a summer project and who knows -the solution could even become a candidate for a new Omeka plugin.

For a Middle East Media project, we have switched from Omeka to WordPress -YES, learning and investigating what works and what does not work is also part of the consulting process of our work.  Anyway, it seems like the Really Simple Guest Post Plugin is what we need for the student submissions, and for the professors review, the Post Meta Plugin will be enough.  Of course, we still need to hack the PHP code to make it work for the MEM project, but we’re definitely better off using WordPress.

Other project updates include: this month (after 2 years) we officially joined the Flickr Commons, according to some of my colleagues, the number of visits has just dramatically increased; For the CAWC Lecture Series, we’re now working on the second batch of videos, we anticipate an official launch later this semester; for my paper on IR platforms, I’ve been learning quite a lot and cannot wait to see the final outcome of this study; and speaking of papers, this month I’m again reviewing an article for RIB.

Last, as part of the promotion and tenure approval process … in early February I was invited to represent the libraries and attend the Miami’s Board of Trustees meeting where they officially approved everyone being promoted or tenured.  And just last week, I got a copy of entire promotion package … mmmm, it was a lot of work and I do need to send a thank you note to a bunch of people, especially my reviewers!  Perhaps the only bad news this month is that -for my GC app- I still need to wait a few (~7) more months before I can truly celebrate this promotion.

That’s it for now … time to get ready for another cold weekend and March should be a warmer month :-)

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Project UPDATES and videos

epub-logo It seems a bit hard to believe but this is already the 1st week of November and -before we know it- this semester will be over.  For me, the IMS 201 class I’m teaching is definitely my best excuse of say “YES, time flies and I’ve been super busy” … but perhaps the most exciting thing about this class is what will happen in the next 2-3 weeks as we’ll be creating several e-books in ePUB format. The e-book idea is a result of one of our own demo projects at Open House back in April … back then, Heidi McKee from English came to us and asked if you could help her in creating an e-book version for an open access book she was co-editing. Of course we said “yes” and with the help of Jason Michel we prototyped an e-book with three chapters using ePUB 3 standards and she liked it. In August, they published the book online and this semester, we’re finalizing the complete e-book version with its 14 chapters and multimedia files … anyway, this past weekend and as part of a documentation of the workflow and in preparation for some video/lecture classes, I created a video tutorial on how to create ePUBs using word and HTML files … if someone happens to be interested in this URL: http://vimeo.com/78566436

html5-videoSpeaking of videos and switching the conversation to some real work :-) last month we also managed to complete the first set videos for the CAWC Lecture Series Digital Archive. This is one of our recently established collaboration initiatives with a center on campus, our role is to help in providing access to scholarly talks and at the same time we make a first step toward preserving these types of materials. We also used this project to test and evaluate a couple of video features (e.g. captions) using HTML5 … in late August, we also learned about a new video streaming service available on campus and after some initial tests, we’re definitely happy to have this integrated with our now locally hosted DSpace 3.0 instance. The topic of video streaming and HTML5 got our attention and interest that we even wrote a short article about -which was published in the latest issue of the Code4Lib Journal.

Another fun part of my work in the last 2-3 months has to do with another open source tool -that’s Omeka. Just in the last month, we’ve created 4 new instances of Omeka 2.0 for 3 different clients. A key feature we’ve found in using Omeka is the ability to install and customize plugins, so far my favorites are: Simple Pages, Embed Codes, CSV Import, Docs Viewer, and Exhibit Builder; plugins in my to-do list include: NeatlineSimile, Geolocation, HTML5 Media, OAI-PMH Repository, and SolrSearch. We plan to go live with 2-3 of these projects sometime in December, for one, we may even have the privilege to write/customize a plugin :-)

Ok, that’s probably it for today … now back to some CONTENTdm and multimedia embed code … hasta el otro mes!

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Spring Project UPDATES

CDS save-the-dateSpring is finally here and -for me- it seems to be just a good time to catch up on some notes and updates about things that have happened in the last two months as well as things that will happen in April.  Undoubtedly, many of my/our activities are driven by the upcoming Open House for our new department -scheduled for April 23rd.  This week, I helped in creating an interactive map for the CDS’ website -which is (heavily) based on an excellent example created by the Research Commons at the University of Washington.  We look forward to completing all the details for this special date.

Two examples of the type of work the center can help clients with are: a) developing websites such as the Digital Literacy Partnership (DLP) project with Valerie Ubbes; and b) developing e-books for selected works available on Computers and Composition Digital Press with Heidi McKee –for this project, we’re working with our colleague Jason Michel.  The DLP project will be our first project using Omeka and it has allowed us to understand better the functionality -and some of the limitations- of this great open source online exhibit tool.  For instance, because of the type of DLP files (video and slideshow), we had to edit the show.php file and customize it accordingly.  Here is an outline of the changes we made:

<?php if (item('Dublin Core', 'Type') == 'Moving Image') { ?>
<iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/<?php echo $VimeoID;?>"
 width="500" height="375" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen
 mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe>
<?php } else { // NOT a video, but a slideshow ?>
<!-- WOWSlider script -->
<?php $filename = item('Dublin Core', 'Identifier');
$dir = "/var/www/../viewer/" . $filename . "/";
if ($handle = opendir($dir)) {
$i = 0;
while (false !== ($entry = readdir($handle))) {
if ($entry != "." && $entry != "..") {
$all_files[] = $entry;
$i++; }}
closedir($handle); }
sort($all_files); // very important
$i=0;
foreach($all_files as $file) {
echo "<img src=\"/healthliteracy/viewer/$filename/$file\"
      alt=\"$file\" id=\"wowsl_$i\"/> \n";
$i++;
} ?>

Two other projects that I continue to work on are: CONTENTdm 6.x and DSpace 3.0.  In both cases, I’ve been quite pleased with the type of successful “tweaks” we’ve tested/implemented with pure jQuery & CSS code.  BTW: for those interested in hosted services, check out DSpaceDirect.

As for the next 2-3 weeks, some exciting things are also on the schedule: on Friday April 5, Kim Tully and I will be part of a panel at the 2012 SOA Conference and we’ll talk about the Civil War collection; on April 8-9, I’ll be at Case Western Reserve University attending their Second Colloquium on Digital Scholarship; on April 16, I’ll teach a class on HTML & CSS –which will serve as a first practice for my upcoming IMS 201 class in the fall; and of course, April 23 will “the day” for us in the center.

Last, my article on DSpace Mobile Interface was published this month … and thanks to a comment, now I know that for future tests I can also use The Responsinator site … now time to check the latest issue of Research Information.

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January is gone!

In the first few days of January, I heard a couple of colleagues/friends saying: “2013 may be a better year” … and if staying busy is an indicator of “better”; then, I’d probably agree with that statement, although now we just need see what else can be done in the next 11 months.  And speaking of “what can be done” or maybe “what have been done” I cannot think of a better example that my 5th Year Annual Report, which I just submitted today and it’ll also serve as the first draft for my dossier for promotion due in June :-( … some of the highlights in that report include some exciting/recent/upcoming projects:

  • Omeka, we’re just days away to launch our first real faculty-driven project using Omeka.  It felt great to write some PHP code again, the first real tweak I had to work on was to write a script that reads the content of a folder with images and generate proper HTML code for a WOW Slider viewer.  This responsive jQuery image slider comes with some amazing visual effects.  J. Millard also wrote a script to pull book covers from OpenLibrary and I added some extra lines to embed videos from Vimeo.  As for the look-and-feel, it was mostly CSS and a couple of minor jQuery calls.  Perhaps my only complain with Omeka is that it doesn’t seem to support multiple themes on the same instance. Here is a preview!
    omeka-site
  • CONTENTdm, in November 2012, I started working on a set HTML & PHP templates for our new Digital Collections website.  Major customizations will include: dynamic splash pages for individual collections, scripts for embedding videos hosted at external sites and using HTML5 web standards, and a mobile-optimized interface using the jQuery Mobile Framework.  It’s absolutely great to seen the new image viewer in action … cannot wait to finalize this long-awaited upgrade.  Another exciting addition in this new version will be our Música Colonial collection, which will feature some multimedia files –thanks Jonathan Goodliffe.
  • DSpace, we’re also planning to run our own DSpace 3.0 instance soon, which should also allow us to install/customize all -or many of- the features in this new release.  This change will also help me in adding/fixing some functions in my mobile theme.  BTW: This week, I got my first formal inquiry -from Venezuela- about this work … got me to use my Spanish skills again.
  • dh-brown-bag-series-flyerDigital Humanities, as a follow up to the DH symposium we had last semester, next month we’ll start with a brown bag archived webinars series, Miami faculty, grad students and librarians are welcome … look forward to keeping the conversation and exploring the possibilities for some DH projects.  BTW: I’m also excited to be part of an NEH Digital Humanities grant proposal that a group of faculty is working on … which also reminds me to install/test ARIS in the very near future.

Ok, that’s it for today … time for a much needed break, next week will be a short week as I’m attending a two-days NEH/DH workshop in Columbus, and the week after I’ll be watching some of the Code4Lib talks –thanks for streaming it again.

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