Author Archives: joelericsen

Using technologies such as Google’s satellite mapping and overlays, Hypercitites is able to show the evolution of city planning with layered maps in an online setting that is somewhat easy to manage. Although it addresses the humanistic problem of gathering maps and records from different locations and sources and displays them in a way that is easier to comprehend, the site is still in its early beta stages and isn’t quite there.

After launching Hypercities from their homepage, the site works in a similar to Google Earth with a mixture of simple Adobe Photoshop (in terms of layers). On the left-hand side of the page, there are familiar zooming and moving tools that you would expect from Google, and the right side has maps of cities from all over the world, the number of locations available are growing, an maps from the past are in reach; you can even adjust their opacity (transparency). Again, this site must still be in its early stages: their archives only go back to 2009 and parts of Hypercities are down for maintenance.

The webpage, in the future, will be a great tool for anthropologist, archeologists, cartographers, and city planners. This just goes to show how digital humanities partners with other fields to make research and tools available in new and easy to manage ways. Even someone who isn’t in the listed fields can use and understand the material provided; that’s a huge achievement for the digital humanities and communications with emerging media. This project utilizes many aspects and professions. This site being managed by UCLA clearly connects and coordinates between many majors, but it’s clear that communications and digital humanities are at the forefront. We can see areas where PCEM majors are contributing and when this site has undergone more development and more beta testing, will be a great tool in the future for the academic and professional workplace.

– Joel Ericsen, Kayla Black, & Lauren Brooker


Regarding the readings from A Companion to Digital Humanities, both articles focused on the transitions the Humanities went through to eventually emerging from its chrysalis as the Digital Humanities. A History of Humanities Computing by Susan Hockey also addresses the question of where the Digital Humanities belong and how does it fit in with information and technology. It’s interesting how everyone was a bit timid to using the computer with the humanities and how it slowed down evolution of the area.

Overall, the Digital Humanities has had to make its own place in the arts and sciences and paved paths into many different fields and its applications continue to grow and offer more uses to convey knowledge. And with the invention on the internet, the new applications seem infinite. It will be interesting to see how everything changes within the next decade and what it will mean for academics, media, and networking.

OK, I know what you’re thinking, “What does this have to do with the Digital Humanities?” I swear I’m not crazy and I do see a point to this post. This video, Countdown (Snuggie Version) [Comparison], was put online by “kkpalmer1000” and soon went viral though out the interwebs.

I just wanted to point out that the social aspect, that communications has many forms and isn’t only academic or professional. There is the aspect of entertainment and ability to spread information and the arts in a “viral” way. Within three months, this video has 1,358,359 views on YouTube and 5,745 comments: the vast majority of which are positive. This also work the opposite way with things that are not socially acceptable, or acceptable in general. For example: the short, horrible, inappropriate movie that portrayed the Profit Mohammad as a homosexual, child-assaulter, murderer has led to the death of of the Libyan US Ambassador and three others (Article from BBC).

I have been a blogger for around three years now. I run, maintain, and contribute to four different blogs through the site Tumblr. Before actually creating a blog I was under the false assumption that blogs were just run by people who had nothing but time and were using the blogosphere as an alternative to a diary. That, however, is not the case. Yes, there are blogs completely dedicated to the author’s feeling and act as a place for them to rant and express their opinions, but there a more blogs that focus on specific topics. Out of the sixty-four blogs that I follow, they can be broken up into eight categories: politics, humor, science, news, fashion, graphic design and photography, writing, and, of course, personal.

There are so many great blogs out there that come from accredited sources that I can get everything I need from the information world in one place. BBC, Newsweek, Life, Time Magazine, Discover Channel, Politico, Reuters, GQ, and many others all have Tumblrs. Even the Democrat and Republican Presidential candidates have Tumblrs. Combining those news outlets with the amateur ones available, which are sometime equally as well-done as the professional blogs, I have everything I need. And it is the need that is the driving force for the Digital Humanities.

While reading The History of Humanities Computing (Susan Hockey), I truly realized how everything that the Digital Humanities, or Humanities Computing, is about has to do with need. Someone wanted to accomplish something but needed a new way to do it, so he invented what he needed. That’s what Professional Communications & Emerging Media is to me: information and knowledge needs to be conveyed in a new and friendly way and we make it possible. Everything is completely selfish, yet, at the same time, selfless. As long as the need for information exists, the people like us will always have a place in society.