GIS Librarian John Clark Offers Spring “Beware of Maps” Workshops

Historic map of the British Empire

Historic map of the British Empire

This spring, Data Visualization & GIS Librarian John Clark will offer two workshop opportunities for students and faculty to learn about critical cartography. Reading a map is trickier than you might expect. While maps casually present themselves as a visualization of reality, the truth is, all maps are imperfect models of natural and cultural features on the surface of the Earth. Reading a map involves understanding how a map maker has chosen to represent these features and, perhaps more importantly, what s(he) has left out. Join for a guided tour through a variety of different historical and contemporary maps as John explains some common principals used by cartographers. Participants will then have an opportunity to make a map using Social Explorer, an online mapping tool available to the Lafayette community through Skillman Library.

This event is being offered twice, Wednesday, February 1st and Friday, February 3rd, from 12:15pm to 1:00pm. Please RSVP to John Clark at and indicate if you would like to attend the Wednesday or Friday event. Lunch provided.

Digital Scholarship Services Welcomes New Co-Director

Digital Library Developer James Griffin. Photo credit: Kylie Bailin

Co-Director of Digital Scholarship Services, James Griffin. Photo credit: Kylie Bailin

DSS recently welcomed James Griffin as the new co-Director for Research and Development.  James joined DSS in the position of Digital Library Developer in 2012, and the team at Skillman is thrilled that James agreed to step into this new role.  Motivated by an interest in digital preservation and scholarly communication, James is deeply involved in the application of open source technologies within libraries and archives.  James’s research interests focus on the semantic web.  He aspires to expand the usage of linked data beyond the domains of digital preservation and curation.  He is also intrigued by the potential for Development and Operations (DevOps) service management methodologies to increase durability and performance in technical infrastructure. 

Since joining DSS, James has worked on implementing Islandora, an open-source digital asset management framework.  He has also collaborated with faculty on the Swift Poems Project, the East Asia Image Collection, and the Easton Library Company Database Project.  Since 2015, James has been exploring how linked open data may be further integrated within the digital repository architecture for DSS.  He is Skillman Library’s liaison to the Project Hydra community.  In his new co-Director role, James will continue to collaborate on faculty projects and lead the migration of DSS digital assets to the Hydra repository solution.  James is excited to execute a vision for DSS anchored in the values of open-source collaboration and digital library preservation.  Congratulations, James!