Archive for the ‘Collation’ Category

1150 Free Online Courses from Top Universities (update) [Collating Content]

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

1150 Free Online Courses from Top Universities (update).

From the webpage:

Get 1150 free online courses from the world’s leading universities — Stanford, Yale, MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, Oxford and more. You can download these audio & video courses (often from iTunes, YouTube, or university web sites) straight to your computer or mp3 player. Over 30,000 hours of free audio & video lectures, await you now.

An ever improving resource!

As of last January (2015), it listed 1100 courses.

Another fifty courses have been added and I discovered a course in Hittite!

The same problem with collating content across resources that I mentioned for data science books, obtains here as you take courses in the same discipline or read primary/secondary literature.

What if I find references that are helpful in the Hittite course in the image PDFs of the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary? How do I combine that with the information from the Hittite course so if you take Hittite, you don’t have to duplicate my search?

That’s the ticket isn’t it? Not having different users performing the same task over and over again? One user finds the answer and for all other users, it is simply “there.”

Quite a different view of the world of information than the repetitive, non-productive, ad-laden and often irrelevant results from the typical search engine.

New mapping tools bring public health surveillance to the masses

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

New mapping tools bring public health surveillance to the masses by Kim Krisberg.

From the post:

Many of us probably look into cyberspace and are overwhelmed with its unwieldy amounts of never-ending information. John Brownstein, on the other hand, sees points on a map.

Brownstein is the co-founder of HealthMap, a team of researchers, epidemiologists and software developers at Children’s Hospital Boston who use online sources to track disease outbreaks and deliver real-time surveillance on emerging public health threats. But instead of depending wholly on traditional methods of public health data collection and official reports to create maps, HealthMap enlists helps from, well, just about everybody.

“We recognized that collecting data in more traditional ways can sometimes be difficult and the flow of information can take a while,” said Brownstein, also an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. “So, the question was how to collect data outside the health care structure to serve public health and the general public.”

HealthMap, which debuted in 2006, scours the Internet for relevant information, aggregating data from online news services, eyewitness reports, professional discussion rooms and official sources. The result? The possibility to map disease trends in places where no public health or health care infrastructures even exist, Brownstein told me. And because HealthMap works non-stop, continually monitoring, sorting and visualizing online information, the system can also serve as an early warning system for disease outbreaks.

You need to read this post and then visit HealthMap.

Collating information from diverse sources is a mainstay of epidemiology.

Topic maps are an effort to bring the benefits of collating information from diverse sources to other fields.

(I first saw this on Beyond Search.)

When The New Deal Was New

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

Robert Cerny mentioned looking for the historical antecedents of topic maps the other day. Subject identity and identification lie at the core of meaning, so it is no surprise that issues we associate with topic maps are woven into the fabric of history.

Collation, for example, appears in the history of Social Security, a program that was part of the New Deal in the United States.

I didn’t find this on my own (see below) but the ability to mechanically match records in two different sets, to see if they were related to each other, did not exist prior to Social Security. Jack Futterman recounts the invention of the collator:

…The machinery that we had to do the job in those days to keep records did not exist. I should rephrase that. There was no machinery that really could do the social security job before the Social Security organization came into existence….the collation, the ability to take two sets of records and do a matching to see whether they were appropriate or the same and related to one another and then to make, in effect, decisions as to whether to interfile one or to reject it was a facility that did not exist in the equipment up to that time….Oral Interview with Jack S. Futterman, January 23, 1974

Name collation used the Soundex algorithm, as Futterman recalls in other oral history remarks.

Name collation has evolved since then, see A comparison of personal name matching: Techniques and practical issues.

Topic mappers interested in expanding their toolkits for building topic maps or developing additional merging algorithms will find name collation a fruitful area for exploration.

(I first saw the information about the Social Security Administration while reading Edwin Black’s IBM and the Holocaust. Recommend reading the online excerpts with an eye towards how topic maps could have assisted with his and similar projects. There will be posts on aspects of this book in the future, please watch for them and consider posting your thoughts about using topic maps in such projects.)