Virginia Newspapers, Gibraltar Flora, Canadian Residential Schools, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, December 12, 2017


Virginia Memory: New On Virginia Chronicle: Richmond Whig And Commercial Journal . “The Virginia Newspaper Project is delighted to announce digitized copies of Richmond Whig and Commercial Journal, a daily published by John Hampden Pleasants and Josiah Abbot from 1831-1832, are now available on Virginia Chronicle. Thanks to a partnership with the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, which generously shared its collection with the Library of Virginia, the digitized issues on Virginia Chronicle represent a nearly complete run of Richmond Whig and Commercial Journal.”

Gibraltar Olive Press: Conservation Nation: Online database launched to protect endemic Gibraltar flora. “FOR the very first time, a complete online database of Gibraltar’s plant species has been compiled to protect the Rock’s unique ecosystem…. The database includes photographs, descriptions and habitat information for 670 varied species of flora, so that their prevalence can be monitored.”

Cision: Canada’s Residential School Story Launches on Google Earth Voyager (PRESS RELEASE). “Residential schools for First Nations, Métis and Inuit children were first established in 1831 and ran for 165 years until 1996. This system had one goal: to forcibly assimilate Canada’s Indigenous Peoples into the non-Indigenous population. Canadian Geographic Education (Can Geo Education), the first Canadian organization to produce Google Earth Voyager content, has worked closely with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) of the University of Manitoba to create an educational tool that will help students learn about this dark chapter in Canadian history.”


CNET: Internet sites to protest Trump Admin’s net neutrality plan. “A group of activists and websites including Imgur, Mozilla, Pinterest, Reddit, GitHub, Etsy, BitTorrent and Pornhub are planning a campaign Tuesday to draw attention to an upcoming FCC vote that could radically reshape the way the internet works. ”

State Archives of North Carolina: Champney Sketches Added to NC Digital Collections. “We are constantly adding new materials to the North Carolina Digital Collections, but one recent addition of note includes the Civil War sketches of soldier and artist, Edwin G. Champney, from the Outer Banks History Center. This collection includes sixty unpublished pen-and-ink sketchbook drawings of coastal North Carolina between 1862-1863 illustrated by soldier and artist, Edwin G. Champney (1843-1899).” These are great. Small collection but excellent sketching.

Techradar: Google launches three fun new experiemental photography apps. “Google is experimenting with photography, and it’s inviting us to join in on the fun. Today the tech giant released three different apps focusing on experimental tech along the lines of object recognition, person segmentation, algorithms for stylization and image encoding, but for all that lofty language, they mostly resemble the one-trick-pony apps you often see on Google and Apple’s app stores.” Storyboard sounds like it’s worth a try.


Balkan Insight: Database of Missing from Yugoslav Wars to be Created. “The 14th regional conference on the exhumation and identification of people who disappeared in the 1990s wars, held in Belgrade on Friday, was told that a unique database of missing persons will be established in The Hague. Representatives of the Bosnian, Croatian, Kosovo, Montenegrin and Serbian governments, as well as some international organisations, have agreed to participate in the project, said a representative of victims’ families’ associations.” Preserving Today’s Internet. “You have a kid who goes on YouTube and looks at subway commutes, surfing his way through amateur footage of trains entering stations. Occasionally, he encounters an automatically generated recommendation that’s sketchy-looking. (You usually catch it before he can click.) His five- or 10-minute breakfast screen-time session may seem like an everyday event, but it’s also totally unique: a singular interaction of a particular human with a particular permutation of the YouTube algorithm. To Clifford Lynch, normal 2017 experiences like these are something special—something that we should think about saving.”


CBC: Researchers predict ‘vaccine scares’ using Google and Twitter trends. “What do Google searches and tweets tell us about disease outbreaks? As it turns out, analyzing search and tweet trends could give warning signs for when a disease outbreak may happen due to reduced vaccinations. An international team of researchers analyzed searches and tweets related to measles and the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine using artificial intelligence and a mathematical model, and detected warning signs of a ‘tipping point’ two years before the Disneyland outbreak happened.”

Demographic Research: Using Twitter data for demographic research. “Social media data is a promising source of social science data. However, deriving the demographic characteristics of users and dealing with the nonrandom, nonrepresentative populations from which they are drawn represent challenges for social scientists. Given the growing use of social media data in social science research, this paper asks two questions: 1) To what extent are findings obtained with social media data generalizable to broader populations, and 2) what is the best practice for estimating demographic information from Twitter data?” The paper itself is a freely-available PDF. Good afternoon, Internet…

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