👓 Learning to Love the Stable Link | Uncommon Sense

Replied to Learning to Love the Stable Link by Karen WulfKaren Wulf (Uncommon Sense — The Blog | Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture)
When you’re striving to make your students’ lives just a click easier by embedding an article in your syllabus or posting it to Blackboard (or another online learning environment), however, it’s important to embed the link to the article rather than the PDF of the article itself. It’s easy to do; you simply paste the link from JSTOR or MUSE into the same field you would paste a document or PDF. It’s no more difficult for the students, and it makes a big difference to the journals whose articles you’re teaching.

I can’t help but read this and think that there’s a good use case for the Webmention spec here. Similar to my thinking in IndieWeb and Academic Research and Publishing, it seems relatively obvious that professors could be referencing the DOIs or other permalink URLs for journals and articles they’re assigning and sending webmentions so that the journal itself could receive webmentions of those facts. This in turn would help those journals have a better understanding of the number of incoming links as well as referrer traffic and potential readers they’ve got.

I’ve outlined a bit of how read posts on the web can send notifications to journal articles to allow them to better track traffic. Similar to use cases I’ve outlined for podcasts which have some large aggregate download data, but absolutely no actual “I listened to this particular episode” data, explicit read webmentions for journal articles could be a boon to these journals as well as to the greater research enterprise.

Separately but similarly, it would be nice if journals could take advantage of annotation platforms like Hypothes.is (especially if they sent webmentions to the canonical links or DOIs for .pdfs) to get a better idea of how closely, or not, academics are reading and annotating their works.

🔖 Mapping Uncertainty on the Oregon Trail

Bookmarked Mapping Uncertainty on the Oregon Trail by Anelise H. Shrout
In the early 1840s the American West, though claimed by the United States, was considered by many white Americans to be untamed, wild, and possibly rife with unknown wealth. This was a West that existed largely in the American imagination. In fact, the area west of the Missouri was home to complex Native societies, was divided into political structures, and was intimately known, if not formally mapped. These two competing Wests - that imagined by many Americans and that inhabited by Souix, Pawnee, Snake and Nez Pierce tribes - were mapped both geographically and textually by John C. Frémont between 1842 and 1843. Frémont set out from St. Louis in the summer of 1842, and began to chronicle his journey west, in the wake of "emigrants" who were moving to the Oregon Territory - a route known as the "Oregon Trail." Frémont's first expedition covered the land between the Missouri River and the Rocky Mountains during the summer and fall of 1842. In the summer of 1843 he set out to write an account of the second half of the Oregon Trail, from the Rocky Mountains to the Columbia River in Oregon. The maps contained here are drawn from the Library of Congress's collection "Topographical map of the road from Missouri to Oregon, commencing at the mouth of the Kansas in the Missouri River and ending at the mouth of the Walla-Wallah in the Columbia." They were created using Frémont's journal, and cover his first and second expeditions. I have annotated the maps with accounts of the resting places, flora, fauna, and people Frémont's and his party encountered on their journey west.

You’ve played the game Oregon Trail via DOS (as a child), online, or via app but have you traced the actual trail taken by John C. Frémont between 1842 and 1843? Now you can with this daily interactive map with journal.

Thanks Anelise Shrout!

Topological Map of the Road from Missouri to Oregon