New Visualization Search Tool

Search Tool
A team of University of Western Ontario researchers, working in partnership with the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling, has developed an exciting new visualization tool that will enable oral historians using Stories Matter software to interpret oral interviews like never before. Lu Xiao and Yan Luo apply “big data” methods to identify underlying patterns within, between and across oral history interviews, and in doing so open up exciting new possibilities for oral history researchers.

You can read more about this new tool, and watch a video walkthrough in the Resources section of our website.

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Digital Tool Demo

A team of University of Western Ontario researchers, working in partnership with the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling, has developed an exciting new visualization tool that will enable oral historians using Stories Matter software (an open source tool developed at COHDS) to interpret oral interviews like never before. Lu Xiao and Yan Luo apply “big data” methods to identify underlying patterns within, between and across oral history interviews.  This next-generation tool opens up exciting new possibilities for all of us. Come see the future of digital oral history!

For more information and to register, please follow this link to the Centre For Oral History and Digital Storytelling’s web page.

 

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CAUTION Re: Adobe Air Update Version 3.8

RESOLVEDCAUTION Re: Adobe Air Update Version 3.8
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Call for Applications: Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Oral History and Digital Technology

Call for Applications:
Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Oral History and Digital Technology
Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling

The Canada Research Chair in Oral History announces a one-year opportunity to work as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Concordia University’s Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling during 2013-14. This opportunity is aimed at researchers who have experience with software programming and digital applications. The successful applicant will work on the continued development of the Stories Matter database tool, and is expected to publish on the work undertaken. The researcher is expected to be in residence. Applicants must be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada (by application deadline).

Click here to read the full post in English.

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Appel à candidatures:
Stage postdoctoral en histoire orale et technologies numériques
Centre d’histoire orale et de récits numérisés

La Chaire de recherche du Canada en histoire orale propose l’opportunité de travailler pendant un an (2013-2014) en tant que stagiaire postdoctoral au Centre d’histoire orale et de récits numérisés de l’Université Concordia. Cette opportunité s’adresse à des chercheurs et des chercheuses ayant de l’expérience en programmation de logiciels et en applications numériques. La personne retenue poursuivra le développement du logiciel de base de données Stories Matter. Il est aussi attendu qu’elle publie des articles sur le travail accompli.

Cliquez ici pour lire l’article complet en français.

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Stories Matter – Phase III: Memory Mapper Plugin

In 2012 The Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling released an updated version of Stories Matter, 1.6g. With the progress we’ve made over the last two years in developing an increasingly stable and functional oral history database software, in 2013 COHDS will proceed into the third phase of development for Stories Matter, the Memory Mapper plugin. This phase will see the development of a downloadable plugin for Stories Matter which will allow users to map the spatial relationships that emerge within and among the life stories they annotate and archive.

This free plugin will give Stories Matter users the tools needed to geo-locate interview collections within their Stories Matter databases, and support the creation of maps containing embedded audio and video clips from interview collections. Users will be able to export this information in order to develop interactive mapping applications accessible via personal computers and mobile technologies such as smartphones and tablets, creating new possibilities for developing mp3 audio tours as well as dynamic and interactive audio tour applications.

With the development of the Memory Mapper plugin, users will be able embed geographic locations as well as tag key events and themes within the levels of their database  – within projects, interviewees, sessions and clips. Embedding geographic information within Stories Matter databases will create new opportunities to investigate the connections of stories to places, and subsequently to present those connections in innovative ways using mapping and mobile technologies.

The development of the plugin will be a three stage process in which we will first take the necessary steps to eliminate any remaining bugs in the software, enhance the current search tools and add a few new features to improve functionality, and finally integrate the Memory Mapper plugin into Stories Matter. The Memory Mapper plugin will be developed and tested through the integration of geo-location information into COHDS’s own online Stories Matter database of 1000+ interviews.

This will, in due course, provide registered users the ability to search through our interview collections for stories tied to regions of interest on global and local levels – across continents and counties, or within a particular city, neighbourhood, community centre, or school.

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Happy New Year!

We hope you like our newly revamped website! If you haven’t done so yet, you can download Stories Matter, 1.6g by visiting the Download Stories Matter page. We have also integrated an updated, online instruction manualand FAQs section to help you get started using Stories Matter.

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Website updates, and upcoming release of Stories Matter v.1.5.1!

Posted by Laurel Hart

If you are a regular to the Stories Matter website, you may have noticed some changes to the website that have been made over the last few months – changes designed to make it easier to navigate, more informative, and more enjoyable. The blog has been moved off the main page and can now be accessed through links in the side bar, while contacts, affiliates and affiliates have been listed under the headings “credits” and “associations and links.” Links to individual and group bios now have now been integrated into the text. If there is anything you are looking for that you can’t find, or any links that are broken, please contact us to let us know. These updates have been part of preparations for releasing the latest version of the software – Stories Matter v. 1.5.1. Over the last few weeks, the development team has been working diligently at testing the software and fixing bugs so as to make this version of the application as smooth as possible. As usual, once the application is released, there will always be new bugs to be discovered, and suggestions for ways to improve the software in the future. We encourage you to report these bugs as well as your experience with the application to us at stories@alcor.concordia.ca. Version 1.5.1 of the Stories Matter application is slated to be officially released within the next week or two, so be sure to check back often. We are very excited about this release of the application, and are looking forward to providing oral historians around the globe with this valuable new tool.

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Mes premiers pas dans l’univers de Stories Matter

Publié par Sandra Gasana

Je profite de cet espace pour vous faire part de mes premières impressions concernant mon utilisation de l’outil Stories Matter (SM). Après quelques formations données par Erin Jessee, j’ai finalement cerné l’instrument et toutes ses subtilités.

Avant de débuter, j’ai d’abord lu toute la documentation concernant SM sur Basecamp (une autre utilité de Basecamp). Ces documents étaient plutôt théoriques mais j’avais hâte de passer à l’aspect pratique de la chose. Mais concrètement, comment ça fonctionne en réalité ?

Une autre étape est venue s’insérer avant cela : il fallait avant tout traduire certaines sections du projet (groupe Cambodge, Haïti, Grands Lacs) afin de rendre l’environnement bilingue. Une fois cela fait, Erin a entré les noms de tous les interviewés en fonction de leur groupe de travail. SM était enfin prêt à accueillir nos entrevues.

Première étape : il fallait importer les fichiers (dans ce cas, clips vidéo) dans SM. Heureusement, l’outil de conversion rédigé par Claudia Gama lorsqu’elle était membre du projet, m’a été d’une grande utilité. Ce document explique toutes les étapes de conversion pour passer d’un format .avi au format .flv. Cela prend malheureusement beaucoup de temps (environ 6 heures pour une entrevue de 2 heures) et c’est fait en fin de journée pour pouvoir travailler avec le lendemain.

Ensuite, j’ai commencé à entrer les entrevues du groupe des Grands Lacs d’Afrique ainsi que du groupe de travail en Éducation pour Erin. J’en suis à ma deuxième entrevue et je vois déjà certains “patterns” qui ressortent de ces deux entrevues. En effet, les deux entrevues sur lesquelles j’ai travaillé sont avec des personnes venant de la même région du Rwanda. Je trouve déjà des parallèles très intéressants, ce qui permettra d’accroître nos thèmes d’indexation. Dans le document d’Erin sur les lignes directrices de la base de données SM, on y trouve une liste de termes d’indexation de base. Ce sera aux groupes de travail respectifs de compléter cette liste avec des termes plus spécifiques à eux.

Les chronologies peuvent aider à la construction de la base de données. Nous avons récemment demandé à nos stagiaires d’indiquer les mots-clés pertinents, après chaque réponse d’interviewés, en se basant sur la liste établie par Erin. Pour le moment, cela fonctionne très bien et nous facilite la tâche.

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Announcing the Start of Stories Matter, Phase II

Posted by Erin Jessee

It is with great pleasure that the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling and BNA-BBOT announces the start of Phase II of Stories Matter. Taking Phase I as its foundation, Phase II will include the development of an online platform for the software, which will allow multiple users to collaborate on the creation of a single database through an online server. As part of this, several new features will be introduced to Stories Matter, including a merge function, database import and export features, and various possibilities for controlling access to the online information. Likewise, several enhancements will be made to Stories Matter in order to improve its usability. These enhancements include: an more specific search tool that will allow users to search among specific fields of information in their databases; a more complex tag cloud feature that will allow users to generate tag clouds for a specific project, interviewee, or session; and the introduction of administrator, project manager, publisher, registered user, and guest accounts for accessing a given database. Once stable, all enhancements will be added to the offline (Phase I) and online (Phase II) versions of Stories Matter, so continue checking the blog and Stories Matter website (www.stories-matter.com) for updates to the software and the overall development process.

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Welcome BNA-BBOT: New Collaborators in Stories Matter, Phase II!

Posted by Erin Jessee

The Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling is pleased to announce the start of a new phase of international and interdisciplinary collaboration with Bruxelles nous appartient, Brussel behoort ons toe (BNA-BBOT), based out of Belgium (http://www.bna-bbot.net/Public/). Translated in English, their name means “Brussels belongs to us!” BNA-BBOT is a dynamic collective that works on urban ethnology. Through innovative methods and intervention studies, they work to reveal how “coexistence” in the city organizes and manifests itself. In this way they are creating an alternative image of Brussels as perceived by its inhabitants, who are actively involved in their projects. This new collaboration has emerged out of several weeks of conversation regarding the functionality of Phase II, and possibilities for making Stories Matter relevant for a wider range of academics, professionals and students around the world.

New additions to the Stories Matter development team include: Julie Rodeyns, a freelance researcher and artist who specializes in the performing arts and urban ethnology; Wouter Bouchez, a project coordinator who specializes in digitization and the use of new media; Muriel Claeys, a project coordinator who specializes in the writing and production of radio documentaries; and Severine Jannsen, a sociologist who specializes in the construction of history and “the ideology of diversity” as expressed by public institutions.

Welcome Julie, Wouter, Muriel and Severine! We look forward to many months of fruitful collaboration!

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