Develop Software for Researchers

If a project plan calls for it, HCMC developers can work for you (or you can participate with us in the software development) to create a range of different kinds of material, which break down into three major categories:

If you or your research assistants are interested in doing some of the software development work, we can arrange for you or your research assistants to get time on our development computers. All our work is guided by our development principles and standards.

The HCMC offers its services at no charge to members of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Victoria. If you are not a member of the Faculty of Humanities, please contact our Head of Research and Development to discuss your situation and how the HCMC may be able to assist. To maximize our ability to accommodate your request fully, please provide as much advance notice as possible. The demands on our time far exceed the supply, without advance notice we may not be able to integrate your request with the overall work flow. The amount of notice necessary varies with the size and complexity of your project - large projects may need months of advance notice.

Our formal education and background is in the humanities and education. Amongst us we have graduate education or expertise in:

We have expertise in a wide range of software technologies, including:

For more details on the interests and accomplishments of individual members of staff, see individual listings on our staff page.

Standard Websites for Researchers

We don't write many standard websites for researchers, therefore this list may be short. A complete list of websites for all audiences can be found on our projects page.

Colonial Despatches

Feature Story: The Colonial Despatches of BC and Vancouver Island

The Colonial Despatches digital archive contains the original correspondence between the British Colonial Office and the colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia. This project aims to digitize and publish online a complete archive of the correspondence covering the period from 1846 leading to the founding of Vancouver Island in 1849, the founding of British Columbia in 1858, the annexation of Vancouver Island by British Columbia in 1866, and up to the incorporation of B.C. into the Canadian Federation in 1871. The 1858 documents (over 600) are already online, and work is continuing on the other years.

All the material on Colonial Despatches site originates in the work of Dr. James Hendrickson and his team of collaborators at the University of Victoria, which resulted in the publication of 28 print volumes of correspondence several years ago. Those original transcriptions have been converted into TEI P5 XML, and presented in the form of highly interactive and searchable website. The site was given a formal launch on November 3, 2008, at the Maritime Museum in downtown Victoria, and has since attracted coverage in the Globe and Mail, the Vancouver Sun, the Saanich News, the Victoria Times Colonist, and A-Channel TV News.

TAPoR Project Site

Summary of TAPoR project site

This site documents the activities at UVic funded by the Text Analysis Portal for Research project. The TAPoR grant funded a number of the research projects conducted at the HCMC. This site has more of an administrative emphasis than many of our others, and was developed to be compatible with the sites developed by the other members of the TAPoR consortium.

The site is at: http://tapor.uvic.ca.

Client-Server Projects for Researchers

Typically researchers are interested in working with substantial volumes of data, specialized tools, and procedures for manipulating that data in order to find interesting features within it. The majority of the work we do for researchers is of this type, which we classify as client-server projects.

Which of the following kinds of projects are of interest to you?

Click on an item in the list below to see a summary of the project and get a link to the original project site.

Scraps project

Summary of the Scraps project

The Scraps project has produced a web-based system to mark up and display multi-level digitized artifacts, such as scrapbooks, albums, etc. The Image Markup Tool is used to mark up the digitized images. The Scraps administration program uses the IMT files and other user-supplied data to create a hierarchical structure that is displayed by the Scraps viewer. Users can drill down through the layers of the hierarchy to view embedded objects.

The site for this project at http://lettuce.tapor.uvic.ca/~scraps/demo/ includes a demo page for Scraps and a bit of info and links for demo sites.

The development blog for this project is at http://hcmc.uvic.ca/blogs/index.php?blog=19.

Early TimesColonist Transcripts Database

Summary of an online database containing transcripts of the TimesColonist newspaper

The goal of this project is to take a collection of transcripts of new stories from early editions of the Times Colonist and other Victoria newspapers which are currently in text files containing special codes for various bits of information, normalize the records, put them into an SQL database and then write a querying front-end to allow students, researchers and the general public to have access to this information on the history of colonial Vancouver Island.

The development blog for this project is at http://hcmc.uvic.ca/blogs/index.php?blog=24.

Colonial Despatches

Feature Story: The Colonial Despatches of BC and Vancouver Island

The Colonial Despatches digital archive contains the original correspondence between the British Colonial Office and the colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia. This project aims to digitize and publish online a complete archive of the correspondence covering the period from 1846 leading to the founding of Vancouver Island in 1849, the founding of British Columbia in 1858, the annexation of Vancouver Island by British Columbia in 1866, and up to the incorporation of B.C. into the Canadian Federation in 1871. The 1858 documents (over 600) are already online, and work is continuing on the other years.

All the material on Colonial Despatches site originates in the work of Dr. James Hendrickson and his team of collaborators at the University of Victoria, which resulted in the publication of 28 print volumes of correspondence several years ago. Those original transcriptions have been converted into TEI P5 XML, and presented in the form of highly interactive and searchable website. The site was given a formal launch on November 3, 2008, at the Maritime Museum in downtown Victoria, and has since attracted coverage in the Globe and Mail, the Vancouver Sun, the Saanich News, the Victoria Times Colonist, and A-Channel TV News.

Lansdowne Lectures Video Markup

Summary of Video Markup project

This project allows an author to add transcript and event timelines to a digital video. The transcript is searchable and each instance of the search word found by a query is presented to the user in the context of the sentence containing it. The user can then click on the instance of the search word to go to the appropriate location in the video. A user may also search across the transcripts of all the lectures in the database. The system allows the author or user to create bookmarks which are saved on the server and can be retrieved later by other users. Our prototype data is taken from two lectures in the Lansdowne Lecture series at the University of Victoria.

The site is at http://lettuce.tapor.uvic.ca/~taprlans/.

FrancoToile French Videos Database

Summary of FrancoToile Video Project

The purpose of the this project is to allow students to select from a collection of short video clips with transcripts, so that they can gain a sense of the diversity of francophone people worldwide. Catherine Caws of the UVic department of French is the academic researcher. The code is based on work done for the Lansdowne Lecture video markup project and is being extended to address the needs of this project.

The site is at http://lettuce.tapor.uvic.ca/~florevid/.

The development documention blog is at http://hcmc.uvic.ca/blogs/index.php?blog=12.

Vancouver Island Historical Censuses

Summary of VIHistory project

The VIHistory project consists of a collection of statistical databases (in postGres) and an interface which allows searching within each and across the entire collection. The main technical issues in this project are: 1) providing a normalized abstraction for the structure of data across various datasets (censuses, business directories, tax records etc.) while maintaining the original structure in each resource; 2) providing a user interface which supports the wide range of audiences (academic scholars through members of the public asking geneological questions); 3) accommodating new datasets containing new fields in the future.

The site is at http://vihistory.uvic.ca.

Literary Map of Early Modern London

Summary of London Map project

"The Map of Early Modern London" is a hyperlinked atlas of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century London based on the "Agas" woodcut map of the 1560s. Over 200 sites and streets are linked to pages that provide a full historical and archaeological survey, quotations from John Stow's Survey of London, and a bibliography of literary references. Over 200 additional sites and streets are identified. For example, you can click on a street and find all the literary references in our database to that street. This site began as a pedagogical tool in 1999. It is in the process of becoming a scholarly tool with fully refereed articles. Technologies used include PHP, eXist, XQuery.

The site is at http://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/.

Shifting Use of Katakana

Summary of Katakana project

This research involves creating a computerized database of katakana words in Japanese, in order to assess the changing role of the katakana script in modern Japanese written materials. The ultimate aim is to chart a basic shift in direction in Japanese orthographic practices in respect to how words are written. A schema has been developed and Oxygen is being used for the XML mark up. An eXist database generates statistics about the data, and presents it through a website.

The website is at http://tapor.uvic.ca/cocoon/katakana/, and more details on the project are at http://tapor.uvic.ca/projects.php#katakana

Nxaʔamxcín (Moses) Dictionary



Summary of Nxaʔamxcín (Moses) project

This is a very small sample of an early beta-version of a database of Nxaʔamxcín (known in English as Moses, or Moses-Columbia Salish). Its purposes are:
1) To pull together all the materials on Nxaʔamxcín compiled by two of the linguists who have worked most closely with native speakers of the language in order to make these materials available and easily accessible to the Nxaʔamxcín community, rather than to leave them stored on file cards and in notebooks.
2) To serve as a searchable tool for learners, teachers, speakers, and linguists to encourage more active knowledge of the language.
3) To serve as an important source of material for the future compilation of a comprehensive dictionary of Nxaʔamxcín, an important goal of the Nxaʔamxcín Language Preservation Program.
4) To serve as a base to which additional language material, including audio and visual material, may be added easily.

The site is at http://www.tapor.uvic.ca/cocoon/moses/.

Diary of Robert Graves

Summary of Graves project

Graves' diary (1935-39) manuscript includes 1546 pages including 117 enclosures: letters, clippings, photographs, post cards, notes, games, etc. The project's objective is to produce the first scholarly edition in print and electronic form of this unpublished diary. One of the issues in this project was successfully representing abstracts, enclosures and other peculiar features of the composition of the original documents. The HCMC created the database and search interface using XML-based technologies. The raw XML data is available on the search engine site. The site allows you to search by date range or text string. Technologies used include XQuery, eXist, Cocoon, Tomcat.

The home page for the site is at http://gateway.uvic.ca/spcoll/GravesDiaryProject/home.htm, and the search engine is at http://graves.uvic.ca.

17th C French Marriages



Summary of Le mariage sous L'Ancien Régime

Faut-il se marier? La question de Panurge s’avère incontournable en Occident, surtout à partir de la contre-réforme. Des débuts de la Concile de Trente en 1545 jusqu’à la fin du règne de Louis XIV, la tentative de renouveler le mariage se heurte en France à l’intervention croissante de la monarchie dans cette institution dominée auparavent par l’Église. La rencontre entre ces deux autorités fut tumultueuse mais propice au foisonnement des documents qui font l’objet de ce site : « l’imaginaire nuptial » se compose de divers genres textuels, chacun ayant son caractère propre, mais tous traitant des peurs, des désirs et des fantasmes de plus en plus visibles dans la société d’Ancien Régime grâce aux débats soulevés par la nouvelle problématique de l’union conjugale.

L’accent pour le moment est sur les textes et images misogames qui font partie d’un renouveau de la Querelle des femmes pendant les 25 premières années du XVIIe siècle.

Le site Web pour le projet se trouve à http://mariage.uvic.ca/. Le blog est ici: http://hcmc.uvic.ca/blogs/index.php?blog=13.

Maclure Architectural Drawings

Summary of Maclure drawings project

The goal of this project is to create a collection of annotated architectural drawings by Samuel Maclure, and particularly to engage students in their creation and analysis. The scanned images are to be annotated using the Image Markup Tool. The result will be a searchable database of features linked to the images, and of course the image files with popup annotations. In 2007, we intend to have students mark up images as part of a credit course.

More details on this in-development project are at http://tapor.uvic.ca/projects.php#maclurehouse.

Application Programs for Researchers

The application programs we develop are typically part of a larger project, yet are useful in a range of situations other than the one that caused them to be written.

We've written programs to address the following issues that might be of particular interest to researchers such as:

Click on an item in the list below to see a summary of the project and get a link to a website with full details.

Image Markup Tool

Summary of the Image Markup Tool

Many tools exist for marking up text in XML. However, for a number of our projects, we need to be able to mark up images, describing and annotating them, and storing the resulting data in TEI XML files. For this, relatively few tools exist, and those that do are either rather too complicated for novices not expert at markup or use a proprietary file format. Our aim is to produce a tool which creates conformant TEI P5 XML files, but which has a simple enough interface that it can be used by people with little or no experience in editing XML code.

The site for this tool, including download, is at http://tapor.uvic.ca/~mholmes/image_markup/. The program is freeware and open-source. The IMT development blog is here: http://hcmc.uvic.ca/blogs/index.php?blog=8.

Image Markup and Presentation Tool

Summary of Image Markup and Presentation tool

The Image Markup and Presentation tool (IMaP) allows very large images to be displayed in a web browser. The images can exceed the size of the browser window; the user can pan the image in any direction to see the hidden areas. The user can zoom in to see greater detail or zoom out for an overview. The image can be marked up with symbols, shapes and labels, which are displayed as overlays on top of the base image. The markup can also link to extensive annotations, which can be displayed when the user clicks on an image feature. Feature annotations are stored in a database, which can be searched.

More details can be found at http://lettuce.tapor.uvic.ca/~taprimap/imapdemo/demo/.

Transformer

Summary of Transformer

Transformer loads Unicode text files and performs sequences of transformation operations search-and-replace, or scripting functions) on them. It provides you with an interface to create and test these sequences of transformation operations before running them in batch mode on a set of files. We wrote Transformer to assist in the rescue of textual data from obsolete file formats such as DOS word-processor files, but it has since proved useful in a wide variety of contexts.

The site for this tool, including download, is at http://tapor.uvic.ca/~mholmes/transformer/. The program is freeware and open-source The Transformer development blog is here: http://hcmc.uvic.ca/blogs/index.php?blog=6.

Use of Research Stations in HCMC

Research Workstations in HCMC

The HCMC has a number of workstations available for use by faculty, research assistants or work-study students. No matter who is actually going to be using the workstation, the faculty member must make the request to the Head of Research and Development. We'll work out exactly what equipment you need, training you may need that we can provide and schedule time for you on one of our development workstations. The equipment is available between 8:30 and 4:30, Monday to Friday. You benefit from working as a colleague in a real development environment. The HCMC benefits from new ideas and perspectives you bring and by making maximum use of our specialized software and hardware. The Faculty of Humanities benefits from the improved quality of work produced collaboratively.

We have a number of Linux, Windows and Mac OS computers with a wide range of software on them: audio capture and editing, video capture and editing, scanning and image editing, specialized text editors and Integrated Development Environments and more.

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