It has been a little bit since I have blogged last, but as I was told, sometimes in the independent research world, your hit a brick wall. Well I did, and then I busted right through it!
Along with my internship I was enrolled this semester in Dr. Roberts Digital History course. As part of the final project I had to create a product digital history project. Luckily I was able to incorporate my research over the semester into this project. By using a digital mapping platform known as Neatline, I was able to play in their digital sandbox and create a map of the areas Father De Smet traveled to during his time creating the missions. The Neatline platform is amazingly user friendly, and is very versatile. With this platform I was not only able to map where Father De Smet went but also a timeline that populated the map as it moved forward. Talk about creating a digital narrative! With this map, it is very easy to visualize the events as they happened! The other really cool option was the ability to toggle between maps, such as a terrain map, to a topographical one. I was also able to link views of Google Street View into the information boxes of different areas. So in essence it did what I needed it to do and even went a few steps beyond that.
Now as my internship is coming to a close, I feel I must talk about what is in store for me, and the project I am working on. I can gladly announce I was the winner of a Provost Fellowship, and with the funds awarded to me I am going to be traveling to Gonzaga University located in Spokane Washington. Once there I am going to delve into the JesuitOregon Province Archives (JOPA) to get even more research materials. Along the way back from JOPA, I am going to be stopping along the way at all the mission sites that Father De Smet had established in the Pacific Northwest, while taking pictures of these sites to include my own personal version of Google Street View for the this project. During the summer months I will also be working on the prototype I have already created, turning it into a functioning program that can then be on display at LUMA in the summer of 2014.
Overall I believe this internship has been one of the highlights of my academic career. I have been blessed to get to work with such talented professors and other students.