My Last Post

Well as my project, semester and undergrad all come to an end I thought I would make one last post just to say I really enjoyed this class. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into at the beginning, labeling myself as a person that needed some improvement when it came to technology. I believe working on my assignment really advanced the skills I currently had and introduced me to a multitude of new ones!

Thank you for a great class Professor,

here is the link for my website if anybody is interest:

Hope you all had a great semester !

Project Review of Stephanie

Hello Stephanie (and everyone else reading),

Sorry I am late on getting your review done but in all honesty I don’t have that much to critique for you anyways! Overall I think your website is coming together nicely and the information your sharing about your topic is great ! Your homepage is nice and captives the reader right away, understanding that your main focus is on psychiatric survivor movement. I think you have four concrete sub categories to help break down your research: About the Movement, PSAT Sources & Testimonies, Maps & Timelines and lastly, Mental Illness Today. I think it would be really useful if you could find a way to help direct viewers along your site as the Professor has suggested to a few of us. Maybe just a simple clickable arrow at the bottom of each page that will automatic bring the site to the next subcategory. I think the flow of your information is present in a great way and this would just allow each reader to follow along accordingly instead of jumping all around.

I know you were having a bit of trouble with the timeline on your site and weren’t able to delete the ‘2015’ column. I added the Lumifish app to my site just to play around with it a bit and see if I could help you out. When I first added the app it had existing dates already added into it, so I first deleted all of the these. Then I was able to add in any date I wanted. I’m not sure if this is what you did as well or tried to work off of the pre-existing ones but hopefully this could help you a bit!

As we said in your presentation you have a lot of great research and really have aimed at focusing on educating readers on this topic and presenting the research you have found. I think you were right that some portions are a little text heavy and I think adding in some pictures and maybe some more colour to your pages would really break down the information and not seem like so much. I was also thinking (if copyright issues don’t come in) that you could add in one of the “Bell Let’s Talk” commercials on your “Mental Illness Today” page. It could be a more captivating way to reach out to your audience about the issue.

Overall great work, I think maybe just touch up your website a little bit here and there and it would look great!

Update On My Project

Just thought I would take a few moments and update on the progress of my project. My mapping portion has turned out to be a success after a few more visits with the ladies at the DRC. We were able to take the original fire insurance map, line it up correctly with the present day road layout, then add a present day swoop image overtop. After adjusting the transparency of the two images a little bit you are able to see both and compare them quite well.

Here is an example of what that will look like:

I do have closer and more clear images that I will publish within my website, hopefully it all works out well.

I have also had a great breakthrough with the compare and contrast portion of my site with older and newer images of places in Elora. I have decided to use the slideshow generator Juxtapose JS that Professor Ross suggested to us. This has been a bit of a tedious process but definitely well worth it! I discovered that if I added an html app to my wix site I was able to copy and paste the codes without any problem, other than adjusting the size of the photos. I wasn’t able to figure out how to do this with the code I was given so I figured I would save some time stressing about it and open each image in Paint on my computer and adjust the size there. In order to use Juxtapose the images must already be published online somewhere as it requires a url for each photo. Since my photos were saved on files on my hard drive I needed to create a flickr account and upload each onto there. After all of this I am very please with the way my site is turning out and it was well worth the hassle.

I still have quite a bit of work to do but I am getting excited that some of my visions at the beginning are coming true !

Project Overview .. So Far

I took advantage of the beautiful day we had today and walked around Elora, recreating the photos that my Grandma took nearly 65 years ago! I had a lot of fun doing this part and found it really interesting to see how much the town has transformed but at the same time how much of it has stayed the same. The buildings are all pretty much the same, just with more added and built around the originals, and the interior of most have greatly changed. For example, what use to be used an old barn is now the Shoppers Drug Mart where I worked for majority of my high school career.

As much fun as I had taking these photos, I did find it challenging as well. As I had the original photos taken in 1950 with me, I was hoping to recreating the new images in the exact same way – same angel, same lightening ect. Unfortunately this was not as easy a task as I had thought. Since majority of the roads have been repaved and made bigger it was hard to get the pictures dead on unless I wanted to stand in the middle of the road, cut down a few tress or knock down a couple buildings.

For the most part I did get the images I wanted and now I need to find a way to transfer them into a ‘slideshow’ that will show the transformation.

Here is an example of one image that I am working with :

legion 1 legion 2

This building is the current day Legion and has been for many years. As you can see it has been added onto and has altered significantly over the years. I still need to do some research to find out what it was in the 1950’s, according to the Fire Insurance Map of 1904 it was the Royal Hotel.

Now for the mapping portion of my project.

I have been able to track down three fire insurance maps which I am hopping that I can use. Unfortunately the Museum in Aboyne did have the maps, but were not given the copyrights to allow people to scan them for their own personal use. The women in the archives center did point me to the online site ‘Library and Archives Canada” where you can download and save the maps onto your computer. While researching a little more into their copyrights, I believe that since I am able to save the image from their online catalog I am able to use the images, just as long as I reference where I got my material from.

Next I met with the Data Resource Center in the library again and worked with Paula and Teresa, who were once again a tremendous help! We had some fun cutting and cropping the fire insurance map of 1904 in order to better fit our needs, then had one heck of a time pinpointing cross sections with the road maps, once we FINALLY were able to do this, we placed the fire insurance map over a present day aerial view of Elora. As cool as this portion was, it was hard for us to see the image underneath because the aerial contained so much detail. We then decided a swooping image would be better to place over top (an aerial image without street detail or leaves on trees). By doing this we were able to see buildings that have existed in Elora since 1904 to present day, those that have been built, and those that have been added to. I will need to work with the fire insurance map a little and try and colour the buildings in a little darker, as they were a little hard to see on the finished product.

I still have a lot of work to go but I am getting excited that my project is finally in the works and I can see the end coming closer and closer !

Here is what the fire insurance map for 1904 looks like.


I am still open to any and all suggestions on how to improve my project if anybody has something for me !

Tori’s Project

The focus of Tori’s project is to create an online exhibit dedicated to sharing the experiences of individuals affiliated with the House of Industry and Refuge, located in Aboyne Ontario. The theme for her project sparked a particular interested for myself since I am from the area and cannot wait to learn more about it.

The main goal for this project will be to educate viewers on The House of Industry and state its historical importance within the community over the years. Tori plans on building off of the existing exhibit within the Wellington Museum called “If the Walls Could Speak” and digitizing it in a way to capture the attention of a larger audience. I personally think this is an awesome idea, as she states that most locals do not actually visit the museum and little know about the history of the “scary building at the top of the hill” (myself being one of them).

Tori is going to create her exhibit in the form of a website use, however may also be used if she finds this is a better fit for her needs. Google Sketch Up is also going to be a big component of her project, which is used to create a three dimension model of the building. The main idea of this is to give the viewer the experience of what the House looked like, connecting them closer to its structure.

Within her project proposal Tori mentions a few online exhibits that she has been using as a reference to gain ideas for her own. These include the Museum of History’s Morning Star exhibit, the Royal Ontario Museum’s exhibit about the Burgess Shale and the Museum of History in Ottawa which used a program called  krapano Panorama Viewer. This tool could potentially be really useful for Tori’s project that creates a video document with a user can control.

My suggestions for Tori’s project are limited because I think she has a great start and a lot of really interesting ideas. For the digital aspect I think that she is taking on a huge project as an online exhibit can be really difficult but I really hope she succeeds in everything as it would be really fascinating to see. As somebody from the area (who knows nothing about the Poor House) I would love to be able to see the transition of the building from House of Industry to the Museum that it is today. Maybe you could use photos captured over the decades and compare them side by side in order to see the transition.

Overall great project Tori! You are lucky that you have such amazing sources to use for your project and have a great idea. I can’t wait to see what you accomplish and am very interesting in learning more about this building that I live so close to!

poor house

Google Earth Assignment (GIS)

I really enjoyed the workshop we did with Jennifer Marvin and I thought that it was going to prove to be a big help in regards to the GIS assignment we were giving. Although I later found this to not be true. Maybe it was because I attempted this assignment weeks after we actually had the workshop, or maybe I didn’t grasp the whole ‘working with Google Earth’ thing as well as I thought I initially had, but whatever the case I struggled a fair amount with it.

The first few steps were easy and fun, navigating my way around Google Earth and playing with all of the options you are given. I search Guelph Ontario and used the zoom tools to look around the city, checked out the different layers and what each looked liked. I easily created a folder under “My Places” and titled it – “Ashlee’s Places” and gave it a little description. Then Part 3 came along. This is where I first got stuck, not because I didn’t understand the steps as much as I couldn’t find a kml file that didn’t already directly open up in Google Earth and fly me to the place once downloaded. Maybe I misinterpreted this step but I found it rather difficult. I ended up downloading a kml holocaust file and dragged and dropped it underneath Ashlee’s Places as instructed to do, however I didn’t quite see the point in this step and I knew I had missed something when I couldn’t click on the yellow pushpin button.

I decided it was best to push past this step for now (hoping that it wasn’t to crucial for what else I needed to do). Then next step was adding a Placemark which I did by following both examples given within the blue box. The first was adding a Placemark by Geocoding an address. For this I used the address provided within the example, Dublin St. S. Guelph. The only problem I had with this was for some reason nothing happened with I selected ‘Save To My Places’. To resolve this I simply had to open up my Google Earth browsing History and drag and drop the address into “My Places”. Latitude and Longitude co-ordinates were simple enough to do as well by selecting the yellow Placemark tab at the top.

Step 4 had to be the most tedious part for me. It was easy enough to select the image of the fire insurance map using the overlay button at the top of the screen, however I had trouble shaping and adjusting the image to fit the map and roads perfectly. At first the image was way to big and it took awhile to zoom out and make it smaller, then the tools bar kept disappearing from my screen and I would have to close the program all together and re add the image again. I finally adjusted everything to fit just right and believe me I was happy to move past that step. It wasn’t that it was necessarily difficult but just required patience as the lining up can take a while and sometime programs such as these act up and are finicky (especially someone who isn’t as tech-savy as myself).

Lastly, I added a title and saved the image as a kml. I know that I did not complete all of the steps correctly and after attempting this assignment I have realized that I am going to need to require a lot more assistance in order to complete my own mapping project for the assignment.

Overall I know I could work on adding kml files into Google earth, drawing a polygon (I added this but nothing really happened – so clearly I did it wrong) and my image overlaying skills could improve. As I stated I didn’t really enjoy this assignment all that much, mainly because I was alone and did not have guidance. I think while working along side somebody who knows more about Google Earth would be much better.

GIS Bergin


Elora, Ont. Project Plan

The aim for the quasi-capstone project assigned in HIST*4170 is to apply a humanities topic in a digital way and describe its academic rationale. In order to do this I wanted to apply a topic near and dear to my heart, as I find is it always more enjoyable working on a subject I can relate to on a personal level. That is why I have chosen to implement an exploration into my hometown Elora, Ont.

Goals and Project Context:

The main goal for my project will primarily focus on educating others on the development of Elora throughout the years. The village was first founded in 1832 by Captain William Gilkinson who saw prospect in the great falls that ran through the landscape as a means of providing waterpower to run the mills he hoped to build (Allan). Since then the small village began to formulate and grow into the quaint tourist town that it is today.

I believe it is crucial to hold onto the history of the town and give society, especially the community of Elora, an understanding of how the town developed and progressed over the years in order to better suit the needs and demands of its growing population. The idea is to provide a cultural history of the town, focusing on the construction and upbringing of the downtown area. This will be done through a comparison of several maps and photographs that have been taken throughout the last several decades.

The project will also touch upon research as a project such as this based on the expansion of Elora has never been formulated. Historical data of Elora has been gathered over the years but nobody has taken the chance to compose research and chart the growth that the town has experienced and questions why that growth is.

Data Acquisition   

As previously stated, data on the cultural growth of Elora over the years has never really fully been completed. Creating new data to represent the expansion of the town over time will reflect a change in population, alteration in demand and ultimately reveal the transition that Elora slowly took into becoming a tourist town.

What this means is that while there are many historical representation created on the different stages on Elora throughout the years, nobody has yet molded them all together in order to answer the question of “How has the physical footprint of Elora changed over the year, and why?”. I hope that throughout my comparison of the different stages of the downtown area I will be able to see a pattern in the different type of shops that were in demand and the importance of certain buildings, such as the library or redevelopment of Town Hall.

The Wellington County Museum has been the best reference for archives on Elora including a variety of historical maps and fire insurance plans. A large portion of my project will include comparing and contrasting historical and current layouts and maps of the town. Although my research is still far from over, I have been able to track down a few town maps that I believe will be extremely beneficial for this section. The first was a hand drawn map depicted in a pamphlet based on what the town would have looked like in 1845. The streets are all labeled and important buildings and shops are numbered and have a description given, however several buildings and houses are not represented which may pose a problem if used for comparison with a present day layout. The second map was taken from The Historical Atlas of Wellington County published in 1906. The layout of this map would be particularly useful when comparing roads and landscape such as the river but unfortunately houses and buildings are only indicated in terms of location with no description given on what they actually were. Lastly, I came across a scanned copy of a map from the Museum. In order to use this map for my project I would need to speak with the archives center first and make sure a copyright issue wouldn’t come forward. This map is useful for both road locations and description of towns and houses. Unfortunately there is no date indicated but my Grandfather seems to think it would have been from the 1950’s, as my Grandma’s beauty shop is labeled with her married name Bergin but she closed down shortly after they were wed in 1949.

Just by glancing over these three maps alone, it is obvious that the town undertook significant alterations throughout the years. It is interesting to see the change in consumer demand with pottery and silver shops in the 1845 map to department stores and beauty parlors in the presumed 1950’s map.

Other data I hope to find that I believe will benefit my project is fire insurance maps, which unfortunately are not located at The University of Guelph Library. These plans are very detailed and will definitely be the most useful in a situation of comparing and contrasting.


Now that I have some of my data compiled and know the question that I hope to answer I can move forward and assemble this information in a digital way. My first train of thought for this was how I was going to present my information. I finally decided that creating a simple website would be the best way to keep all of my thoughts and findings organized and efficient. I have never created a website before and struggled with what database to use but finally landed on Wix. Right now I only have four pages on my website which are: Home, History, Maps and Photography. So far I feel this is the best way to separate my collective thoughts but it is still a work in progress and later I may feel that these need to be changed.

Under History I was going to present a paragraph or two on the background behind Elora which I would reference from the short book History of Elora written by Roberta Allan which I have found very useful so far. I was hoping to tie in a theme of oral history under this page which I thought could be a video or audio clip of an interview or two that I have conducted with locals from Elora on the town development.

The Maps page will house the focal point and main feature of the project. After working with georeferencing and mapping with Jennifer Marvin I decided that this would be interesting way to discover my hometown, unfortunately I have no experience in this area. To gain a better understanding I met with the Data Resource Center and discussed my project with one of the women working there. She went through all of the steps I would need to take in order to successfully complete a mapping project. My goal for this is to track down two or three historical maps or fire insurance plans of Elora that depict the downtown area well. Next I will select and save a current aerial view map from online and use the application ArcMap to compare and contrast the old maps to the new ones, pinpointing locations that have stayed the same and some that have changed.

The photography page will also be the same in the sense that I will use it to model historical photographs of downtown Elora to recent pictures that I have taken myself. This could be done by linking the photographs to the area on a map which they are found with a brief description, similar to the website Historypin or by creating a slideshow with an oral history depiction of both pictures.

New Skills Outcome So Far

Although my project is just at the beginning stages I do feel I have already gained a variety of different skills that I didn’t have before. Working with web pages and creating a website was new to me and so far I am having fun with it. I do plan on keeping my website simple as it is just mainly for the purpose of keeping my thoughts and ideas organized but selecting different pages and layouts has been fun. The mapping portion is the main section of my project and so far I am still pretty clueless when it comes to working with all of the applications needed but I am looking forward to conducting my own project and finding the results. I know that it is still going to take quite a bit of guidance from the DRC before this section of my project is completed but it is a new skill that I am looking forward to possessing. The outcome of my project so far is still at the starting lines as I have stated and I’m sure the finished project will have a few, if not many, alterations than my initial plan but I am eager to see what I come up with.

Maps Maps Everywhere .. But Which One Do I Use ?

As I stated before, I have been playing around with the idea of doing some sort of Mapping Project with my hometown Elora, Ont. Unfortunately for me, the mapping assignment we as a class did with Jenny Marvin in the library basement was the first and only time I had any experience with working with maps and I had NO idea where to start for my own project.

So I made an appointment with the Data Resource Centre at school and received a lot of help ! The women assisting me (Paula) had already started to research for historical maps of Elora before I had even arrived for my appointment and from there she was able to show me a) how to research and find maps myself b) how to extract current maps from online and save them. She was very thorough and extremely helpful for a beginner such as myself. The unfortunate part was that our research did for the most part come up empty handed as our University Library does not seem to have fire insurance maps for Elora, although oddly enough we were able to find maps for Fergus and Elmira (neighbouring towns). My next step we decided would probably be to contact the Wellington County Museum and search through any maps they have there. Luckily I contacted them and was able to search through their online catalog. This catalog provides a description of the map without actually revealing what it looks like, so I am able to find those that will be useful for the type of research I am conducting without copying the map from online.

I haven’t had time to head over the Museum yet but I did come across a few old maps that my Grandma saved over the years that I believe I could use to my advantage for my project.

PampletMapPic This is a hand drawn Map included in a Pamplet of what the town would have looked like in 1845. The shops, houses and churches are labelled with number and the column along the side gives a brief description of each.

HistoricialAtlasMapPic This Map was taken from The Historical Atlas of Wellington County published in 1906. I was using my computer scanner when copying this so unfortunately it did cut off a good chunk of the town. This map is particularly useful when comparing roads and landscape such as the river. Houses and buildings are indicated in terms of location but no description is given on what they actually were.

MuseumMapPicLastly, this is a copy of a map my Dad scanned from the Museum. In order to use this map for my project I would need to speak with the archives center first and make sure a copyright issue wouldn’t come forward. This map is useful for both road locations and description of towns and houses. Unfortunately there is no date indicated but my Grandfather seems to think it would have been from the 1950’s, as my Grandma’s beauty shop is labelled with her married name Bergin but she closed down shortly after they were wed in 1949.

I am particularly happy that I am seeing progress and potential for my project. I believe if I can get my hands on some older fire insurance maps of the town, and pinpoint them in a mapping project with a current layout of the town, more specifically the town area, I will be able to see significant alterations and growth of Elora, Ont. over the years. Even by studying these few maps it is clear that the small village began to flourish into a quaint little town in just over a few decades or so.

Here are some pictures of the town that I found in my Grandma’s collection, most of them taken around the 1950’s. I thought just for fun I could go around and take current pictures and compare them.

Bissel Park, Elora
Bissel Park, Elora
Center of Town, Elora
Center of Town, Elora
Downtown, 1960
Downtown, 1960

Potential Project Ideas … HELP !

Finding a topic to research and compose in a digital way for the final project has proven to be a bit of a struggle for me. I wanted to search something I know and something that interests me. Finally it dawned on me that composing a project revolving around my hometown would be perfect. I have grown up in Elora, Ontario my whole life, same with my father, my grandfather and now the same for my daughter. Elora has been a significant part of my family’s upbringing and over the generations we have seen this quaint little town grow.

My next step is choosing what about Elora I want to research and explore. This has also become a challenge for me and still is. My hopes are to be able to educate others on the development of the town over the years, more specifically the downtown area. I am thinking that a possible mapping project could come from this, that I could show the progression through a series of maps and chart the growth seen.

Seeing as my family and friends are so closely tied with Elora and have so much of their own history in my project, I was also hoping I could incorporate a bit of oral history into my project. I could conduct interviews and record their viewpoints on the progress of the downtown area. I thought this would be able to give the assignment a more personal aspect.

Hopefully after tomorrows workshop will give me some more ideas and a better understanding of what I hope to achieve however any suggestions or insight you guys have would be greatly appreciated !

downtown 1960  Downtown Elora 1960

Comparison of Children’s Novels

This week we had the assignment of exploring different text analysis websites and while I wasn’t sure at first what types of piece to work with, I knew I wanted to try and use the TTR comparison tool created by guest speaker, Adam Hammond.

After much thought, the literary pieces I chose to compare happened to come to me by complete chance while I was sorting through my closet and stumbled upon my collection of Harry Potter books. Thoughts of how I would read these books after I came home from elementary school flooded back to me. Back then (grade 5 and 6) I was so captivated by the story line that I was introduced to but I also remember being proud of myself so managing such a well written challenging book (remember, I was only 11 or 12 at the time). That got me thinking about how diverse the novels actually are and how “unique words they contain.

I decided to use the first Harry Potter book of the series, the Philosopher Stone and thought it would be fun to compare it to a well known children’s literature book from this generation, so I landed on The Hunger Games. Both of these novels have been geared toward young adolescents but have appealed to society as a whole, making New York Times Best Sellers List and have gone on to inspire movies.

Using the TTR Comparison Tool required me to find versions of these fictional novels online, download the PDF then copy and paste the entire text into Notepad on my PC. Before I could generate and compare I was asked to enter a “sample size” – this is the number of words that will be examined in each text, this number is labeled the “tokens”. After the website studied both novels I was given the number of “unique” texts found within each book. This is referred to as “types” and are the texts that have been filtered through common words such as a reoccurring name, and, the, their ect. By dividing the “types” by “tokens” and multiply by 100 we are given the TTR of the entire novel.

Text Types Tokens TTR
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone 6016 76,000 8%
The Hunger Games 7359 76,000 10%

Overall, the TTR Comparison Tool is beneficial in comparing the quantity of words found within a text, however it should not be used in for judging the quality of work. Harry Potter and The Hunger Games both received a low TTR percentage which in my opinion does not come at a surprise as they were composed to inspire young adolescents and an easier read for the older generations.