Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dynamic Map of the Early Dairy Industry

The underlying data of the project exists as a relational object based database hosted on the server of the Digital Humanities Department at the University of Sydney. The database is managed through Heurist.

The database is embedded with an internal logic which involves the creation of a complex web (with standardised patterns) that ties together all of the records (or objects) in order to reveal hidden connections. The record or object varies in its type (e.g. Machinery Manufacturer, Dairy Cooperative, Dairy Farmer, Museum Collection Item, Report, Trade Manual Page, Location and Time Instance for Manufacturer, Advertisement, Illustration etc. etc.). Each record that exists in the database is linked to other resources by additional (encoded) relationship records which describe the type of relationship occurring in a specific direction between records. The combined result of these highly integrated records is that one may navigate the collection via various entry points. For instance, if a researcher is chiefly concerned with a specific manufacturer, they may seek out all available descriptive elements for that record, but they will also, if there are resources available, find identified other records that might be of interest to them. For instance, the catalogue records for museum objects related to the company, scanned illustrations or advertisements of specific machines, additional records identifying all known locations of the manufacturers, as well as links to newspaper articles hosted by the National Library of Australia, accessible online through Trove.

The first map relates to the manufacturers of machinery used in the dairy industry in Australia. The content is available in the wiki associated with the project, located here.

There is also a record of the names, addresses and known dates of operation for dairy factories operating in the study region during the investigated period. The resource (located here) includes factories which were responsible for producing cheese, cream and milk. In the individual records for the factories, the type of produce retailed is identified.

Lastly, there is a dynamic map of the dairy farmers identified operating by a study undertaken in 1901. The farmers which are included in the display include those within the study area, however a large corpus of the dataset are yet to have their locations identified with x,y coordinates and thus are not yet rendered by the map. Follow the following link.

The dynamic maps are rendered from data compiled in Heurist Scholar, referenced in a past post through a sister Tumblr blog documenting the project.

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