Medieval Maps, Amsterdam Riverbeds, Facebook, More: Monday Afternoon Buzz, July 2, 2018


British Library: The Virtual Mappa Project and DM: Online Editions of Medieval Maps and More. “After a long journey and much hard work from a lot of very dedicated people, it is time to get excited about medieval maps again! The Virtual Mappa Project has been officially released as an open access publication, with an incredible collection of digitised medieval world maps from the British Library and beyond, all online, annotated and waiting to be explored.”

Wired: They mined an Amsterdam river bed for long-lost objects. “Rivers in cities are unlikely archaeological sites. It is not often that a riverbed, let alone one in the middle of a city, is pumped dry and can be systematically examined. The excavations in the Amstel yielded a deluge of finds, some 700,000 in all: a vast array of objects, some broken, some whole, all jumbled together.”


TechCrunch: Facebook will allow you to see all the active ads from any Page. “Facebook made two announcements about ad transparency today — one around the ads purchased by any Page and another around expanding its recently announced archive of political ads. It seems like ad transparency is a big focus today, as Twitter just launched its own Ads Transparency Center, allowing anyone to see ads bought by any account.”

Artstor Blog: More than 1 million images now publicly available at!. “Good news! Artstor has made more than 1 million image, video, document, and audio files from public institutional collections freely available to everyone—subscribers and non-subscribers alike–at These collections are being shared by institutions who make their content available via JSTOR Forum, a tool that allows them to catalog, manage, and share digital media collections and make them discoverable to the widest possible audience. These eclectic collections fall into a multitude of categories, including special collections, faculty research and fieldwork, and museum and gallery collections.”

NARA: Rare Home Movies Show FDR Walking . “reviously unseen and historically significant home movie footage of President Franklin Roosevelt walking at the 1935 White House Easter Egg Roll—made available by the National Archives and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum—offers a rare glimpse into the life of the former chief executive. Footage of President Roosevelt walking is uncommon. Filming or photographing his disability was highly restricted by the White House, and camera operators and news photographers complied with those restrictions. In addition, the film is believed to be the earliest existing motion picture footage of an Easter Egg Roll hosted by the Roosevelts.”

Robert Feder: Block Club Chicago acquires archive of DNAinfo. “Block Club Chicago, the new subscription-based neighborhood news service, has picked up the assets of DNAinfo, including the extensive archive of stories created by the former hyperlocal news sites in Chicago and New York. It’s quite a coup for Block Club Chicago, which acquired the treasure trove Thursday as a gift from New York Public Radio WNYC. The station obtained the assets from DNAinfo in February as part of a larger deal that included Gothamist and associated sites.”


Lifehacker: Discover What to Read Next With This ‘Instagram for Books’. “Just like Instagram, with the service you ‘follow’ different readers and publishers. People share photos of the books they’re reading or have read on the service. You can also share quotes from the book you enjoy or a full review if you’re feeling particularly adventurous.”


Ars Technica: Dictionaries of the future define “Yass,” embrace memes, and think of robots. “Despite the ever-connected nature of life today, there remains a moment that all of us eventually encounter. Whether talking to a friend, texting with a family member, or emailing and chatting with coworkers, a word pops up that simply stymies. Wait, what does that mean? Rather than racing to the bookshelf and grabbing the old-reliable, these days most people simply type into their search engine of choice and brace for the results—typically with near the top of the list.”

Phys .org: Egypt looks to monitor popular social media users . “Freedom of expression may shrink further in Egypt where lawmakers have approved the first reading of a bill that would monitor popular social media users in the name of combating ‘false news’. Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have become one of the last forums for public debate in Egypt since a November 2013 ban on all but police-approved gatherings.”


KFGO: Majority of Americans think social media platforms censor political views: Pew survey. “About seven out of ten Americans think social media platforms intentionally censor political viewpoints, the Pew Research Center found in a study released on Thursday. The study comes amid an ongoing debate over the power of digital technology companies and the way they do business. Social media companies in particular, including Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google, have recently come under scrutiny for failing to promptly tackle the problem of fake news as more Americans consume news on their platforms.” This doesn’t surprise me at all, considering how inconsistently social media platforms apply their own rules. Good afternoon, Internet…

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