2011 Accounting

Just in time for the end of the year, here’s how the finances of THATCamp Bay Area 2011 ended up. Thanks again to our amazing sponsors for making THATCamp Bay Area possible, and to all of the individuals who contributed money and/or ideas to make this year another great event! The good news on the money front is that we broke even again and have a little extra money in the coffer for next year.

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AR for Poets Workshop Materials

At Saturday’s AR for Poets workshop, we covered the basics of mobile augmented reality and looked at two CMS tools for creating location-based AR using the Layar platform. We also discussed computer vision-based image recognition and had a little fun with Occupy George:

If you want to explore AR creation on your own, here are some resources that will get you started (latest version). If you have questions about the workshop or know of a group that wants to learn about AR, you can reach me via gene-at-layar-dot-com or @genebecker.


You’ll want to set up three developer accounts. For best results, use the same email address as your username for all three.

Layar developer account: layar.com/publishing
Hoppala Augmentation free CMS: augmentation.hoppala.eu
BuildAR professional CMS: buildAR.com

Mobile Apps

Get the Layar Reality Browser app for iOS or Android. You’ll want to use a more recent smartphone: iPhone 3Gs or later, or an Android phone running Android 2.2 (Froyo) or later. The iPad2 also works, but most Android tablets are not yet supported (as of October 2011).

Hoppala Tutorial

I wrote a short tutorial on using Hoppala: HELLO WORLD: MOBILE AR WITH LAYAR & HOPPALA.

BuildAR Tutorial

The BuildAR team has a simple tutorial video: Getting Started on BuildAR.

Image Recognition

Two introductory videos explaining Layar Vision image recognition: Introducing Layar Vision and Layar Vision Explained.

Live JSON output from a very simple Vision layer (Occupy George).

Layar API

For the more technically inclined, the full Layar API documentation is at layar.pbworks.com.

If you are interested in building your own Layar web service, a very useful starting point is PorPOIse, an open source PHP server for Layar.



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Notes from Ethics and Data Visualization Session

Notes and questions (Please Feel Free to add to this list)

Are designers responsible for questioning the sources of their data?

Should they make public their conscious omissions/methodolgy /problems with presenting the data?

What ethics should designers employ when presenting source data?

Questions of aggregation and curation?

Every map implies a set of choices. Every map makes an argument. In some ways, every map is a lie. How fine grained is the data available?

How accurate is crowd-sourcing and how can this be used to counter/augment official records?

Teachers using “bad data” to teach about validity of sources? Starting with wiki and spark notes to question quality of source?

What are the edges of creating a context for our data?

How do you create a culture of data skepticism? Data Literacy is the future of media literacy!

Sources we talked about:
Crimespotting: oakland.crimespotting.org/
Home and Away: stamen.com/clients/cnn_home_and_away
Crisis Mappers: crisismappers.net/
Ushahidi: www.ushahidi.com/
Apps for Development: appsfordevelopment.challengepost.com/submissions/1431-your-world

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Resources for QGIS Workshop

To download the software and data sets for the QGIS Workshop, click this link: dl.dropbox.com/u/18853430/THATCampQGIS.zip.

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Sessions Canvas on linoit

I’ve started a canvas with the proposed sessions on linoit.com. I will try to keep it updated for everyone’s use. Enjoy!
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Text Analysis for the Humanities

Got a lot of digitized text? Not sure what to do with it? Try text mining!

I’d like to hold a Text Mining session for those interested in using computers to extract information from raw text.  My background is in the field of computational linguistics, so I can introduce the teriminology and  possibilities – when we talk about the “information in text” what do we mean? What kinds of things has computational linguistics made it possible to extract from words, sentences, and document collections?

Some questions I’d like to discuss are

  • What are different ways of using text in the humanities? As examples? As evidence? As inspiration for an interpretation?
  • What are some computational activities that humanities text analysis interfaces should support?


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Digital Fieldwork

I am interested in exploring emerging notions of “digital fieldwork” that integrate various aspects, including: doing research online (the web as the “field” and online contributors as “informants”), examining the status of primary sources online, organizing one’s data (see other session proposal on database setup), integrating digital and analog primary sources, blurring the lines between participant-observer fieldworkers and informants, and especially using social media and other platforms to conduct collaborative research. My interest is twofold: on the one hand, I’d like to hear what others are doing, their challenges and success stories; on the other, I’m very interest in the theory of fieldwork, and in how digital technologies are impacting it. I’d like for this conversation to be as interdisciplinary as possible.

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“So you say… and who are you, anyway?”: User needs for trust in social media

I’m just starting to explore the needs for journalists who use social media and other crowd-produced reports (SMS, blogs, Flickr, etc.) to become aware of breaking events, or for surfacing topics, or for cultivating sources.

It’s my hope that social science, qualitative research, and a good understanding of the technical issues can help us break down: What affects confidence in a report? In a source? What is relevant to identity?

And different beats might have different use cases and sets of needs. I was a journalist for a decade, but never faced the challenges of crisis or war reporting, or did a long-term investigative piece. Is there a way to find what’s in common, and what varies, and design that into a tool?


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Designing Educational Media

From Inception to Sesame Street, the influence of film and video is widespread. Because of their reach, there is vast potential for the role they play in society. While film and video possess entertainment value, they can also be leveraged to advance learning and education. Specifically, I’m interested in discussing the design and applications of video for education.

Already, there is an emerging trend in the integration of technology in classrooms. By 2015, South Korea plans to switch completely to digital textbooks in elementary schools, according to a Technology Review report. As stated in an Education Week article, school districts across the U.S. are moving to incorporate virtual classes for high school students. In Hong Kong, Chief Executive Donald Tsang said in a recent October 12 policy address that “[a]part from providing students with an interactive mode of learning, electronic textbooks and learning resources allow more flexibility in textbook compilation, lower production costs, reduce wastage and help achieve reasonable pricing.” Such developments raise some interesting questions to consider:

o   As we make progressions in ed tech, how exactly would e-learning resources look like?
o   Continuing with the earlier theme, how can we teach students through educational media?
o   How can we motivate them to learn through educational media?
o   What would be the pedagogy or learning theories behind such resources?
o   At the level of the student, how well would they respond to learning with digital devices in terms of engagement, academic performance, and development of 21st century skills?
o   To what extent should current technologies be incorporated into students’ learning experiences?

Along the thread of digital learning, there are extensive possibilities within the realm of video. Video can act as a medium to communicate and illustrate key concepts, presenting multiple representations and ways of looking at an idea (e.g. digital storytelling, video adaptations of the classics). Additionally, students can engage in their own video projects, producing and editing shorts that demonstrate their understanding of a topic. Becoming creators of their own videos, students can develop media literacy skills and critically analyze media they consume. What remains to be explored is how we can design and apply video to best address students’ learning needs and ultimately develop their ability to reflect, analyze, and create as critically thinking human beings.

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IMPORTANT! Parking Change

Hello Campers!

We’ve just learned that the parking lots to the east of the buildings will not be available to us on Saturday. Instead, please park in the lot south of building CL3, which does include accessible parking spaces. If that lot fills up, the extra lot to the north of CL4 is also available.

The map below shows the closed lots in red.

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