Based on what I’ve learned about digital projects thus far, there are three aspects that I find particularly interesting:
The Problem with Archives
We’ve encountered digital projects that are based on archival materials, which can provide large sets of data that need to be curated. The process requires translating material sources into digital data, and then organizing the information in a coherent way. It takes a lot of time, resources, and expertise. Taking this into account, it’s not surprising that a project like The World’s Fair in Italy (developed during two years) is still incomplete.
The Appeal of Visualization and Interactivity
Other projects, such as Digital Karnak and Mapping the Republic of Letters, stand out because of how their websites allow visitors to interact with the data, presented through attractive visualizations. This makes the projects more appealing, at least in my opinion, and if the intention of a digital project is to make information accessible and easy to understand, then making it attractive should be highly desirable.
The “Real Life” Approach
Finally, I briefly talked about the Digital Language Diversity Project in class, which seeks to create tools and impart knowledge that will allow regional minority languages in Europe to combat underrepresentation in digital environments. The DLDP is a good example of how a digital project can be prepared and developed outside of the digital space (with workshops, conferences, etc.), but with the goal of eventually influencing and altering digital content.