Databases and Statistics

I reviewed the two Feltron reports, the 2010 Annual Report and the 2010/2011 Bicentennial Report. I found the statistical reporting on daily events to be so cool, putting a visualization on everyday events.  The 2010 Annual Report was about paternal biography/genealogy of his father, listed with pictures and places and events he attended throughout his life. It was cool seeing a picture of his dad every 10 years or so until now, and what’s he’s done throughout that certain time period.

While reading through the different reports I couldn’t help but think of Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare, and the statistical data you can get from those sites. For me, a person who is always making random “list” of things, I find reports like these very interesting and fascinating.

Maps, Spatial Analysis & History

I find it exciting that history can be learned through different methods and media’s today. What stuck out to me the most is how precise and advance history and research can be today with GIS mapping and analysis. The Differences Slavery Made: A Close Analysis of Two American Communities project is a histography of two counties, and the impact slavery had on them. The site, created and managed by college professors, contains  a lot of information on each city, located north and south of the Mason Dixon line in Pennsylvania and Virginia.  I found it the site to be informative and easy to navigate with tons of links to other related subject, maps and locations, and synopsis for each topic.  The fact that they incorporated a page where you can search for citations, this site is a one-stop shop to learning about these two cities

PhilaPlace was also a cool site that contains a more interactive view to a present day city in Los Angeles, while also presenting historical information. The site contains oral histories and many images, also with pin point locations of old and present day sites. The difference with this site and the Two Cities site is that this one allows regular people to make a log in and submit their own stories.  I think using GIS and other mapping tools in historical projects is exciting and can be challenge older historical facts that may not have been as accurate as we may have thought.  I believe that there is much to still uncover and expose, and using satellite images, and tracking locations, has given average aspiring historians access not available to many before.

Tools and Services

Before this class I did not know Google had so many free applications and tools for regular consumers. With the help of funding with advertisements, Google has made it easier for scholars to document their writings and display them in neat charts. Though I am still unsure on how to use all of these tools, I am excited to learn how to. I like the idea of being able to create your own maps with your own data and share it with others.  I can see modern day Historians using these tools to track locations linked with documents on to track a specific journey or assignment.  Before this class I thought Google was good for mainly emails and internet searching but I am now aware that there is much more, and it’s free!


Securing Information

Securing information is the topic for this weeks’ focus. In the day that our systems and programs and often linked together, the importance of password security and storing data should be people’s top IT priority.  The article How Apple and Amazon Security Flaws Led to My Epic Hacking, is of Mat Honan, an IT journalist who was hacked into several social media and email accounts by a hacker by the name of Phobia.  Phobia whose purpose, as he said, was to expose the security flaws made by Apple and Amazon.  In the process of this, an entire library of sentimental photographs were forever lost.  Honan resents not backing up his data/photos regularly and not having different user names and passwords for multiple accounts.  He exposes the dangers of using iCloud or other programs like it, which link up several devices, which can be conveniently useful or disastrous.

My mother has lost her iphone twice now in the previous years, each time losing tons of data messages, pictures, contacts, and other vital information to her. She did not regular backup her phone and had to start over each time. From her experience I make sure I password protect my phone, in case I lose it, I hope regular people cannot break in and access my data. This article and other readings this week have reminded me of the importance of internet security and have changed my long term passwords.