Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Trove WordPress plugin

Monday, July 9th, 2012

One of the fantastic resources in Trove is the digitised newspaper collection. We’ve seen people using the newspapers for research & republishing their findings on their blogs. There’s a couple of issues with this:

  1. If the text that is copied hasn’t been corrected, if it ever gets updated in Trove it won’t get updated on their blogs
  2. Attribution is a bit hit and miss. Depending upon what the person does, they may or may not add a link back to Trove. We all know it’s nice to share the love and provide a link back to the resource where you’ve found something.

To make life easier for people using newspapers in Trove I’ve built a simple WordPress plugin based around the Trove API to allow you to embed the text from a newspaper article within your WordPress blog so that the text will reflect the current state of the text in Trove & it will provide attribution back to Trove. All it takes is three easy steps:

  1. Install the plugin
  2. Get the article ID of the text from the URL (e.g.:  the ID of http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/2760597 is 2760597)
  3. Where you would like that article to appear in your post us the following short code [trove newspaper=2760597]

That’s it!

I made up a quick screencast to demonstrate the use of it. I really hope that it’s useful for people. If you have any suggestions for improving it or extending it for other uses within Trove I would love to hear about it.

I have to give a big thanks to Kathryn Greenhill for helping me out with beta testing. This is the first thing I’ve built using the Trove API & the first thing I’ve released back into the WordPress community & it feels pretty good!

Reflections on 2011

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

As you can see from my site, 2011 was a year that I didn’t do very much writing. It wasn’t that I didn’t have anything to write about, I just didn’t get around to finishing up the posts & they stayed in drafts (hence this being posted in February – better late than never). This was a pretty good reflection of how I felt this year went, good but not complete.

Work

A lot of good things happened this year at work. I was part of a national project called LibraryHack to enable what I had been talking about for the past few years – opening up library collections to reuse through API’s.

I cut down a bit on the amount of speaking I did this year, but ran a few more hands on tutorial sessions that I really enjoyed.

Travel

This year I travelled to Portugal, Spain & London. I cycled through the Algarve in Portugal, walked the El Camino de Santiago in the north of Spain and was exposed to the wonders of Gaudi’s architecture in Barcelona. I had one of the most enjoyable meals of my life in Seville, I loved the schizophrenic space of the Mezquita in Cordoba. My goal for this year is to start learning Spanish.

Ceiling of La Sagrada Família

Photography

I took over 8000 photos this year, but only uploaded a small amount to Flickr. I didn’t feel that this was enough. I wasn’t that happy with many of the shots I took. I tended to shoot in large bursts, and that growth and consistency you get from practising a craft on a daily basis wasn’t there. I don’t think I grew as a photographer this year.

Some photographic highlights for me were being asked to be a photographer for TEDx Canberra. This came about from last year’s photos being seen by the organisers and asking me if I would like to help out this year. you have to love the combination of Flickr & Creative Commons licenses for this.

Rebecca Scott

I was inspired by watching Kim Tairi’s Flickr stream. Of all the photo blogs I follow I loved the curation of Vladimir Putin, action man from In Focus at The Atlantic.

Music

A lot of music really didn’t inspire me much this year. Triple J continued to disappoint. Most of the music I purchased was from the 1980′s. I subscribed to the Australian Chamber Orchestra series, and once again they didn’t disappoint. I always find something energetic and inspiring from their performances and interpretations of music, even if I don’t actually enjoy the music. There’s something about watching a live performance, seeing the interactions between the players, their concentration and reactions.

In May I attended what I consider to be the best concert I have ever been to – Reflections by The Cure at the Sydney Opera House. Held as part of the Vivid Festival it was The Cure playing their first three albums in their entirety followed by b-sides from the era. In addition it was an ever growing line up of past Cure members – starting with the trio of Robert, Simon & Jason, then being joined by Roger O’Donnell & finally Lol Tolhurst (the first time Lol had played with the group since leaving in 1989).

The Cure

Exercise

I ran 641km. It was another frustrating year of building up my running & then getting injured. Building up again & then getting injured again. Most of my runs were short 6km runs. I finished the year on a positive note by being able to run for over an hour and recover well. Hopefully this is the start of good things.

I didn’t really do much cycling this year (besides on my holiday), my bikes gathered dust. I miss it.

I walked 841km. This was mostly just walking to & from work. It’s surprising how quickly this adds up.

I’ve finished 2011 4kg lighter than at the start of the year.

Summary

I guess when you look at it in one big list, I did manage to achieve a bit. Maybe I just always want to achieve more in my mind. I’ve got a few things on the go already for 2012 (including a much needed redesign of this site) & I promise I’ll write a bit more about them here soon.

HTML5, iPads – Hot or not?

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Puttin’ on the writs

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

This year we had a bit of fun at the National Library of Australia’s Christmas party with our own little take on copyright law. Thanks to Dereta for all her hard choreography work. It was great fun.

Australian Women’s Weekly visual timeline

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

In the past I’ve spoken about moving our collections Beyond the search box, the colorful library and that libraries should be the provider of digital information but not control how we interact with that information.

Recently the National Library of Australia released digitized versions of the Australian Women’s Weekly. The existing way of accessing this collection is via a search box or a calendar. That’s a pretty traditional method for accessing library information, but I want to relate to the material in a different way. Back in the physical world, how do we view magazines in a newsagents? Are magazines hidden away or are the covers displayed to catch our interest and therefore purchase them? Some magazines like National Geographic are easily recognised by their iconic yellow and striking cover images.

Likewise, the covers of the Women’s Weekly are an iconic historical record of Australian society. I can remember what the covers looked like from when I was growing up, but I can’t easily remember the dates of any of the issues. How can I access this information in a visual manner?

With a bit of screen scraping I can build an alternative entry path into the collection. By extracting the relevant details for the year, month & issue I can repurpose the data into a visual timeline.

Screen shot of Women's Weekly visual timeline

50 years worth of issues is a bit much to be loading all at once, so I’ve built this to dynamically load in another year of covers as you scroll to the bottom of the screen. I like this interactivity as it encourages exploration without being too resource intensive. Of course the covers link to the relevant issue within Trove where you can explore the content further.

I hope this proves to be an interesting way of interacting with the collection. Enjoy.

Update 24 Dec 2010: My timeline has been integrated into Trove.