Historical Mapping, LGBTQ Kentucky, Romanian Forests, More: Saturday Buzz, December 10, 2016


A new community has been launched to explore open source historical mapping. “This group has been created to explore the creation of an inclusive open-source historical mapping community, with a focus on Early Modern London, Early Modern England and Wales, Ireland and Scotland, and their relations with the wider world.”

The University of Kentucky has put the Pride Community Service Organization newsletters online. “The Pride Community Services Organization (PCSO) newsletters, starting with the first issue in 1979 and up to the present day, are now available online via University of Kentucky’s digital library ExploreUK. … PCSO is a Lexington community-based organization that works to improve the lives of people in the sexual minority and gender expansive community of Central and Eastern Kentucky.”

The government of Romania has launched a new site to fight against illegal logging (PRESS RELEASE.) “The ‘Forest Inspector’ portal allows users to view ongoing and historical data about all timber transports in Romania. This new interface builds upon a series of previous government initiatives. In 2014, Romania’s government created a hotline where citizens could call to check if logging trucks seen on Romania’s roads were officially registered. Public statistics show that a quarter of all phone calls since 2014 identified illegal trucks. A mobile app version introduced in 2016 led to a 30% increase in the number of trucks registering official transport documents, which would seem to indicate a dramatic decrease in the number of log trucks illegally transporting timber.”

SocArXiv has been officially launched. “SocArXiv, the open access, open source archive of social science, is officially launching in beta version today. Created in partnership with the Center for Open Science, SocArXiv provides a free, noncommercial service for rapid sharing of academic papers; it is built on the Open Science Framework, a platform for researchers to upload data and code as well as research results.”


Reddit tipped me to the fact that Snopes has a section specifically for fake news. I’m not sure how new this is. The first page of it goes all the way back to November 24th, however, so don’t look to this as comprehensive.

Facebook has once again corrected some advertising metrics. This is really getting out of hand. “Facebook today announced it’s correcting a few more issues with its metrics in areas like audience estimation for ads, live video reaction counts, and its Like and Share buttons. Though the fixes are referencing several of Facebook’s more high-profile products, the issues being addressed aren’t as significant as the ones Facebook identified earlier in 2016, when it discovered that the figures for average video view time had been inflated for years.”


Digital Information World: 11 Amazing Google Calendar Hacks. I didn’t know about many of these. Very nice.

Motherboard: How to Easily Watch Snapchat Spectacles Video Glommed from Twitter and Instagram. “The sunglasses record circular video that can be viewed without issue inside the Snapchat app. But videos published outside of Snapchat on the likes of Instagram and Twitter end up looking like this—and you also lose the ability to rotate your smartphone to pan around. That’s where Tim Johnsen’s new iOS app called Spectator comes into play.”


Fusion: What GitHub did to kill its trolls. “It might surprise you that a website built for programmers to share code could become a hotbed of online harassment. But GitHub, valued at $2 billion, is a social network in nature, a combination of Facebook and LinkedIn for computer programmers, and involves a lot of user-to-user interaction. And along with that, on the internet, usually comes abuse.”

The University of North Carolina is asking students to help them archive student life. “When you think of archives you might think of dusty old books and papers tucked away to be used by historians and other academics. Here at the University Archives we preserve plenty of old University records (that are kept dust-free, by the way), but our day-to-day work is actually very focused on the current moment. Without collecting materials that document the present day researchers can’t study the University in the future. One way we archive the current moment is through collecting student life materials and UNC related web content. With only three full time staff members it can be tough to keep up with all the conversations, events, and activism happening on campus. We can’t do this alone. This is where you come in!”


New York Times: Libraries Become Unexpected Sites of Hate Crimes. “A librarian at the public library in Evanston, Ill., was recently preparing for a program titled ‘The Quran: Is It a “Good Book”?’ She gathered books to display for attendees and discovered that inside the cover of one, ‘The Koran for Dummies,’ someone had written ‘lies cover to cover,’ drawn a swastika and made a disparaging remark about the Prophet Muhammad.”


From Pew (PEW PEW PEW PEW!): The ‘gadget poor’ feel the stresses of information more than the ‘gadget rich’. “Those who have more pathways to access digital information express fewer concerns about information overload.” The funny thing is if you accept the FCC definition of broadband, I only have one of the three paths as defined by the survey. Good morning, Internet…

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