Current Status of Ephemeral Cities Project
( October 2004 )
We have received much of the required contributions from our partners. We do
need to get any remaining images from the "My Town" events. Other than that, there is
nothing needed from the partners at this time, as we are focused mainly on data
Data collection for the Ephemeral Cities Project is nearly complete. One source
for the data is the Sanborn Insurance Maps for each city. City Directories are the second
primary source for the data to be used in this project.
On each rectified map, a point feature was placed on each building. Information
about these buildings was also recorded for each map. The last step of data collection
with these maps is to determine which buildings appear on multiple maps. If a building
appears on multiple maps, the point features will be associated with each other in the
database. This step is very close to completion. Below is a section of a Sanborn map
with building identifiers.
The city directories have been converted to text, and that text subsequently has
been parsed into spreadsheets. Students at UF's digital library are reviewing the results
of the automatic parsing and correcting any mistakes. This step is near completion for
most of the directories. Next, we will try to determine which of these people, in the
directories from different years, are the same by comparing their occupation and
addresses over time.
So, the collection of data that will form the core of the Ephemeral Cities Project is
close to completion. The database has been built and is ready to accept this data.
Once the database is populated, we will begin contributing the images from the
"My Town" events and the city directories to PALMM. These have been on hold until
we determined unique identifiers for each person and building. Additionally, we will add
these unique identifiers to any other material that we can determine pertains to the dates
and cities in question.
The last step will be creating the graphical user interface on the web to allow
users to browse through the maps and pertinent information.