Mapping and Methods

Hi Folks,

I’m looking forward to meeting you all tomorrow morning. I think the ideas that Giacomo, Wilko, and Megan have shared sound great. I am especially interested in learning more about QGIS, CartoDB, and Google Maps.

I am also interested in learning how you all use technology to collect and organize historical information. I am a historical researcher at a research firm that specializes in environmental litigation. Many of our projects require the collection of diverse sets of data. I’d like to learn about how to best present this data in such a way that might identify larger historical themes. Is there something out there other than Excel?

See you all soon,


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GIS, Omeka Projects, and Collaboration

I would like to learn more about GIS and hear from others regarding what you’ve done with online mapping. I’m interested in doing a little of that with my students and introducing it to other teachers at my school. (I’m a technology integrator for an independent high school).
I might have a few suggestions for collaboration to give you, based on what some schools and faculty are doing in the K12 world. I agree that an online resource that allows users to contribute would probably be far more useful as a global environmental history source database. It would require some editing and supervision, I expect.
Personally, I’d like to learn more about the Omeka platform. Ultimately, I am interested in building a platform for my students (and those of other teachers) that allows them to build projects that compile digital historical sources, maps, and data from other humanities projects to draw conclusions and make suggestions.
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Virtualisation and online collaboration

I’ve lately been thinking about “virtualisation” and online collaboration.

There are two strands of this that I would particularly be interested in exploring further.

The first one is virtual/online workshops as a way to reduce our env footprint and best practices to make these really effective. I do not think only skypeing in or such, but also other ways to foster discussions while living and working in different timezones. Would love to gather ideas for new ways to approach these issues if there is interest.

The other one is related to a need I felt mostly last year while teaching global environmental history: the lack of global EH source books to be used in teaching providing, at the very minimum, English translations of sources. Originally I thought this should become an actual book, but over the last couple of years I became convinced that instead an open source online project would be more apt both to involve collaborators and reach the right audience. I believe a combination of tools like Scripto and CommentPress would work to set up the technical infrastructure, but I definitely would like to hear your ideas.

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Online Maps

Hi Finn Arne & all,

I am looking forward to our informal gathering. I am particularly interested in online mapping. I am a self-taught GIS (and web GIS) user and I would happily share my competences on that, including QGIS, CartoDB, Google Maps. What I would especially like to learn is how to produce online interactive maps without using existing services such as Carto DB, Google maps etc.

I know for instance that Leaflet ( allows you to build an online interactive map entirely customizable and it seems relatively easy to use, but you also need serv space and at any rate the steps to get from a csv or a shapefile to an online customized product are not clear to me. I have read that there are also QGIS plug-ins to do that, but I don’t know much more about.

If someone can provide guidance on this, I would be a particularly avid learner.



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Practical info

Dear friends – the ASEH 2016 THATCamp is less than two weeks away, and I would like to encourage you all to begin brainstorming some session topics for the THATCamp.

We will be a relatively small group, so I think we’ll probably not have parallel sessions, but instead have four one-hour sessions. We will decide what those sessions will be at the beginning of the THATCamp, but that process goes much smoother if we have some material to work with. On our website you can find a guide on how to do this:

If everyone can suggest one or two topics that they either want to learn more about or that they know a lot about and would like to share, we should be able to be quite efficient in the morning. Feel free to comment on others’ proposals. I’m thinking it would be good to have a balance between discussion sessions (sharing experience on a topic, showing examples, etc) and practical, workshopping sessions (trying out software tools, making something, doing something like a wikipedia edit-a-thon, etc). Ideally, themes should involve technology in one way or another and be relevant for environmental history in one way or another. And since we are so small, we have the opportunity to do something more focused. So be creative and ambitious!

Suggested schedule:
9am-9:30am introductions and schedule
9:30am – 10:30am first session
10:45am – 11:45am second session
11:45am – 12:45pm lunch
12:45pm – 1:45pm third session
2pm – 3pm fourth session

We will have internet access in the room, but no projector or large screen (the hotel charges a fortune for these). But we will have two whiteboards. You should bring laptops or tablets if possible.

We will go somewhere nearby for lunch – I will explore near the hotel before we meet. It could be best to find a place where we can take the food with us back to the meeting room, even.

Finally, we will be in the Vashon room at the Westin (the conference hotel). I don’t know exactly where that room is, but I trust we can all find it. I will be there from around 8:30am.

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Register for THATCamp #ENVHIST at ASEH 2016

Immediately before the 2016 ASEH meeting in Seattle, we will have a small and informal THATCamp focused on environmental history. THATCamp, The Humanities And Technology Camp, is a free, open, interdisciplinary “unconference” where humanists and technologists meet to work together for the common good. As more and more environmental historians actively and deliberately use various forms of technology in their work, whether it is archive studies, field work, digital analysis, outreach, or other, we see this as a good opportunity to share our experiences.

In this first THATCamp #ENVHIST, we aim to change this by bringing together environmental historians, museum professionals, students, teachers, librarians, technologists, and others to explore new approaches to environmental history in an open, welcoming, and non-hierarchical manner.

If this sounds interesting, but you don’t know exactly what a THATCamp is and how it works, do not despair! You can find a full guide here and here. We welcome all people regardless of technology skills, as long as you are interested in sharing, creating, and learning together.

How will this work in practice? First, to register, go to this page and fill in an application (this is mostly to keep track of who is coming). Second, you can propose sessions and ideas for discussion topics here. Since THATCamp is an unconference, we will not have a set program before we meet. Instead, the first session is dedicated to brainstorming a schedule for the day. These may alternate between plenary sessions and breakout sessions, depending on the interest. It is a fun and stimulating way to work!

This THATCamp is a no-budget event – ASEH will sponsor our meeting room at the conference hotel, but we will have to find lunch on our own. We encourage all participants to bring their own computers and tablets to the THATCamp!

The THATCamp will take place from 9am to 3pm on Wednesday March 30, 2016, at the conference hotel, The Westin Seattle. More detailed information will be sent out to registered participants closer to the conference.

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THATCamp ASEH 2016

There will be a THATCamp right before the ASEH 2016 conference in Seattle, WA, on March 30. Join us to learn more about how environmental historians can use technology in their scholarship and teaching. We will discuss, brainstorm, build, hack, break, and have fun during this one-day unconference. The event will be open for all, not only registered conference participants! More information will follow on this page. Contact the main event organizer Finn Arne Jørgensen if you want to help arrange the THATCamp – it is fun and easy!

If you want to know more, read more about the THATCamp movement and browse other THATCamps at

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