At this point in the term, we’ve split the class into small subgroups, but this time, instead of dividing based on research interest, we’ve grouped ourselves based on our “specializations.” To clarify, we’ve decided that at this point, the bulk of the research has been completed, or at least reached an acceptable stopping point, so rather than have everyone try to do everything for their topic, (including data cleaning, media finding, map making, and more) we should instead have different people specialize by becoming extra skilled at doing their task, and then do that task for all of the projects. I thought that I would be most interested in map making/web-app building, and fortunately enough, was one of the folks selected to do just that.
At first, I simply tried to figure out how to build a web app, (using ArcGIS online) and what the capabilities of such an app are. After doing so, I dove more specifically into trying to figure out how to do specific things that our class would like the maps to be able to do, such as search for features, filter by features, and spiderify points. (Spiderifying points is the act of spreading out overlapping data points when they are selected, so that the map user can gain a better sense of scale when multiple events occurred at the same location, and more easily understand and navigate through those various events) Some of these things have been easier to implement than others, but hopefully by the end of the week, I will be competent and doing all of the above! That being said, if I had to offer a suggestion to future map making specialists, it would be this: document your steps as thoroughly as possible. You might think that you’ll remember how to access one feature, but more often than not, you will forget about a step, and then find yourself struggling to understand why the widget isn’t working. Don’t make the same mistake I did, and just keep track of everything. Not to mention, think how useful that information will be to future musicological map makers!