Greetings from the final week of Music Geography 396 here at St. Olaf College! We’ve split into groups depending on our specialties in the spirit of efficient and equal work responsibilities for this project on H.T. Burleigh. I was in two groups at the start of the week, the Racialized Spaces group and the Media Specialist group. The goal of the Racialized Spaces group was to determine the racial make-up of the venues in which H.T. Burleigh performed because of his uniquely widespread career in both black and white spaces. I think there is good research that can be done here, but it would take concentrated, long-term work going through archives that aren’t digitized. I’ve spent the bulk of my work on the Racialized Spaces assignment so far, but after a good deal of combing through resources, we’ve deemed this research to be more than we can do with the time remaining.

That being said, my other task is to organize the Media we’ve been collecting and somehow format it so that everything will work on Arc Gis Online. This has also been a frustrating task but for very different reasons. I’ve talked to the GIS expert a few times about putting Media (pictures, YouTube videos, etc) into the pop-ups on our maps and while this seems like it would be intuitive, it is not. In effect, I’m coming up against the wall that we talked about in our first week of discussions about using GIS as a tool for research in the Humanities. While showing pictures of documents and recordings are what will help to bring this map to life, they are not really what ArcGIS was originally designed to do.

The problems so far have mostly been around the proper way to upload and format the URLs for images, which mainly means saving our photos to Google Drive and then making sure that we have public URLs that we can then put into our spreadsheet. I’m not too worried about image formatting, hardworking students in previous mapping projects have found success and I am determined to follow in their footsteps. However, something that students have been able to do before that hasn’t worked for me is putting YouTube videos into pop-ups. We aren’t sure if something has changed in ArcGIS online or if this is a problem on our end. Now that my sole focus will be on Media, my next steps are trying out different ways of embedding and reading through ArcGIS online forums. I’m also hoping to reach out to the rest of our class and ask them to place the photographs and scans they have been collecting in a folder along with the most appropriate data point. There is so much to get done in the next couple of days, so I’m hoping Google Drive behaves itself!

May the Gods of ArcGIS and YouTube smile down upon us. Amen.