Los Angeles, with four million inhabitants in the city alone and twenty-two million in the region, is a global megacity. If Los Angeles was a country, it would be the fifteenth largest by economy size in the world. By 2050 Los Angeles County is predicted to house 1.5 million more individuals, as the world’s population continues to migrate to the economic and cultural epicenters of the globe. So how does a city like Los Angeles meet challenges related to its economic, cultural, and environmental sustainability in the face of a growing population and unprecedented climate change?
Data, or aggregations of observations and evidence, is one tool for thinking about the sustainability of Los Angeles and Southern California at different scales and contexts: parcel, street, neighborhood, town, city, county, state, Pacific Rim, and the globe. Data is also a means by which we can retrospectively evaluate the state of the region and make predictions and suggestions for transitioning to a more sustainable city. The goal of UCLA’s first Grand Challenges research initiative is to find paths to bring Los Angeles County to 100% sustainability in water and energy with enhanced ecosystem health by 2050. This Grand Challenge is also a data challenge.
When Urban Meets Data: What happens when urban meets data? Urban pertains to the city, implies sophistication, high culture, refinement, and worldliness, resonating with its Greek counterpart, polis. What is cosmopolitan exceeds regionalism and national boundaries, connoting world citizenship and a partiality for cross-cultural encounters. The other side of urbanity is pollution, poverty, and crime. But while urban implies grittiness, it also invokes grit and resilience: In the words of Jay-Z, since we made it here, we can make it anywhere.
Data carries its own set of meanings. Data is cold, impersonal, factual, ubiquitous, big, and global. “Big data” joins with the other great technological clichés of the early twenty-first century but nevertheless poses challenges and opportunities, particularly for the audience for this symposium: Angelenos in their guises as citizen scientists, researchers, managers, and decision makers.
This symposium explores what could happen for a city’s sustainability when urban meets data. UCLA Library and UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge invite collectors, producers, curators, visualizers, and scholars of data and the city -- our city and others -- to share theory and practice in a series of conversations that can inform new directions in data practice to meet the sustainability challenges of Los Angeles as a cosmopolis. At this meeting, participants will engage and offer provocations on the overlapping themes of urban data, open data, data sharing, and sustainability. How can we gather, use, and share data to understand the many facets of Los Angeles at small and local, large and global scales and meet the challenges of sustainability understood narrowly and broadly as we aspire to thrive from now to 2050 and beyond?
New Models and Methods in Digital Art History is a colloquium open to the public, which will be held in conjunction with the eight day summer institute Beyond the Digitized Slide Library. The event will be held on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at UCLA in the Young Research Library Main Conference Room.
ChartEx: Tools for the Analysis of Medieval Charters. ChartEx, or "Charter Excavator," is a collaborative digital humanities project developed as part of the second round of the Digging into Data Challenge. The core tools, still in development, are designed to "read" full text medieval documents (charters) using Natural Language Processing, identify persons and places in individual documents, and then propose relationships between the persons and places identified across a set of charters using data mining techniques. After an introduction to the project, students will have an opportunity to experiment with the annotation tool used to train the system, and with the virtual workbench used to analyze and manipulate the data.
Adam Kosto, Professor of History and Director of Graduate Studies at Columbia University in the City of New York, specializes in the institutional history of medieval Europe, with a focus on Catalonia and the Mediterranean. He received his B.A. from Yale (1989), an M.Phil. from Cambridge (1990), and his Ph.D. from Harvard (1996). He is the author of Making Agreements in Medieval Catalonia: Power, Order, and the Written Word, 1000-1200 (Cambridge UP, 2001) and Hostages in the Middle Ages (Oxford UP, 2012), and co-editor of The Experience of Power in Medieval Europe, 950-1350 (Ashgate, 2005), Charters, Cartularies, and Archives: The Preservation and Transmission of Documents in the Medieval West (PIMS, 2002), and Documentary Practices and the Laity in the Early Middle Ages (Cambridge UP, 2012).
The pilot project for Stanford University Press’s new digital publishing platform, Enchanting the Desert is the web-based revival of a photographic slideshow made in ca. 1900 at the Grand Canyon by commercial photographer Henry Peabody. It is the earliest surviving mass-marketed visual representation of the region, meaning that it serves as a template for what people actually saw when they saw the Grand Canyon. Serially, as they were meant to be viewed, the photographs are disorienting, obscuring the space produced by Peabody’s portrayal of what would become the most visited national park in the country.
The project reveals this lost geography, answering for readers two deceptively simple questions: 1) where was the photographer standing when he took his photos?, and 2) what exactly were virtual tourists consuming with their eyes when they used these images to help define their impressions of the American West? What ensues is an interactive, non-linear, spatial narrative that uses Peabody’s images as a guide to the region. Combining novel cartographic design with a custom interface that allows readers to learn about the Grand Canyon breathes life into a historical document that in its own time also attempted to enhance how people knew these incredible landscapes.
In this talk I cover three aspects of Enchanting the Desert:
the intellectual and practical contributions to human geography and art history,
the technics and design process of making a web app in the Digital Geo-Humanities, and
the process of getting a born-digital project peer-reviewed and published with a major university press.
Nicholas Bauch is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis and the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University. He holds a Ph.D. in Geography from UCLA, where he specialized in cultural and historical geography. His major works are A Geography of Digestion (forthcoming, University of California Press) and Enchanting the Desert (forthcoming, Stanford University Press).