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CODE4LIB  October 2011

CODE4LIB October 2011

Subject:

Re: Examples of visual searching or browsing

From:

Julia Bauder <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 31 Oct 2011 10:07:40 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (119 lines)

I think you're right, that the HathiTrust pie chart has far too many slices
to be useful, and it would make me happier if when you clicked on one piece
of the pie you got another pie showing the subdivisions within, e.g., the
history of Asia, rather than just a full list of the tens of thousands of
books on the history of Asia. But for the project I have in mind --
providing access to a much smaller collection of digitized historical
material -- I think something like the pie chart could work well (although
probably not using LCC to create the slices). At least, it would help give
the user some perspective on what topics are covered in said historical
collection.

From the undergraduates I see, one of the biggest problems they have is
getting a sense of the shape of the scholarly landscape in general, and of
what's in a given database in particular. "I only get 3 results when I
search for my topic! Am I doing it wrong, and there's a whole lot of stuff
out there I'm not finding? Is there nothing on anything even remotely close
to my topic, and I should give up and choose a different topic? What topics
in this area ARE viable?" That frustration seems to go double for archival
materials (a less familiar concept with a less familiar organizational
system). I think making it easy for students to get a rough sense of that
landscape would be really helpful, and there's no tool like a visual tool
for getting a quick impression of the lay of the land.

On Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 5:18 PM, Peter Noerr <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> This looks really colorful, but how does it aid searching, or browsing?
>
> The pie chart is useful for a collections development librarian to see how
> the collection is distributed across broad subject areas.
>
> How does it help me, a user, searching for books on Dentistry (yes they
> are there, all 9443 of them) to know that the biggest collections are in
> Asian history and languages (and books). What functionality does the
> visualization add to the list of topics given below? It's organized by call
> number (starting at 3 o'clock?), so I don't even have alphabetic headings
> to help. And the 198 general works, and 375 dictionaries just disappear.
>
> It looks nice, but exactly what searching purpose does it enhance - either
> by its existence, or over the alternative list display (boring, but
> complete)?
>
>
> Peter
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
> Julia Bauder
> > Sent: Friday, October 28, 2011 9:55 AM
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Examples of visual searching or browsing
> >
> > This is all fabulous, thank you! MapFast and the HathiTrust
> visualizations are exactly the kinds of
> > things I was looking for, and the tree-mapping idea also sounds like a
> very good one for visualizing
> > collections.
> >
> > Thanks!
> >
> > On Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 11:11 AM, Margaret Anderson <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> >
> > > Take a look at a visualization of HathiTrust works by call number
> > >
> > > http://www.hathitrust.org/visualizations_callnumbers
> > >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf
> > > Of Julia Bauder
> > > Sent: Thursday, October 27, 2011 4:27 PM
> > > To: [log in to unmask]
> > > Subject: [CODE4LIB] Examples of visual searching or browsing
> > >
> > > Dear fans of cool Web-ness,
> > >
> > > I'm looking for examples of projects that use visual(=largely non-text
> > > and
> > > non-numeric) interfaces to let patrons browse/search collections.
> > > Things like the GeoSearch on North Carolina Maps[1], or projects that
> > > use Simile's Timeline or Exhibit widgets[2] to provide access to
> > > collections (e.g., what's described here:
> > > https://letterpress.uchicago.edu/index.php/jdhcs/article/download/59/7
> > > 0), or in-the-wild uses of Recollection[3]. I'm less interested in
> > > knowing about tools (although I'm never *uninterested* in finding out
> > > about cool tools) than about production or close-to-production sites
> > > that are making good use of these or similar tools to provide visual,
> > > non-linear access to collections. Who's doing slick stuff in this area
> > > that deserves a look?
> > >
> > > Thanks!
> > >
> > > Julia
> > >
> > > [1] http://dc.lib.unc.edu/ncmaps/search.php
> > > [2] http://www.simile-widgets.org/
> > > [3] http://recollection.zepheira.com/
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > *********************************************
> > >
> > > Julia Bauder
> > >
> > > Data Services Librarian
> > >
> > > Interim Director of the Data Analysis and Social Inquiry Lab (DASIL)
> > >
> > > Grinnell College Libraries
> > >
> > > 1111 Sixth Ave.
> > >
> > > Grinnell, IA 50112
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > 641-269-4431
> > >
>

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