3D Printing

I finally had a chance to start experimenting with 3d printing in 2017.

I’ve perfected skimming Thingiverse for things to print and I’ve got the hang of slicing and generating support material, brims, and G-code.

Waiting is hard and the whole thing can get pretty frustrating when prints fail – which, unfortunately, is often.

My design skills are still pretty limited: I can scale designs up or down, and I’m getting better at predicting whether a print will succeed in Slic3r before loading the filament. I’m also pretty good at cleaning the nozzle end (when filment jams) and the print bed (when prints don’t stick).

It’s kind of exciting to see what’s being done in the museum world — I’m especially excited about the potential for things like Museum in a Box.


Digitizing Texts

In late 2016, I was hired by the Essex-Kent Mennonite Historical Association to begin digitizing their collection to share online. After some copyright research and consultation with the Archives volunteers, we set a priority list and established a place to begin. The group has published 14 books about local Mennonite history since they incorporated in 1987 and these books could be useful to local and Mennonite historians, and the local Mennonite high school. Together, we identified this as the best place to begin.

Screenshot of EKMHA's online repository at ekmha.ca/collections

EKMHA’s online repository at ekmha.ca/collections

I worked on every stage of this project, from identifying current best practices, scanning equipment, OCR software, and repository options, to doing the scanning, OCR, metadata, publishing, and training and supervising volunteers to help.

The repository is built using self-hosted Omeka with a custom theme designed to match the organization’s website. In 2012, EKMHA hired me to convert their static html site built using MS Word to something more modern looking and easier to update. After four years, that site needed to be upgraded and updated before adding the Omeka repository. The result launched in early 2017: a combination WordPress and Omeka site that meets the organizations needs and is easy to update and maintain.

When the 14 books were complete, the project moved to digitizing high school yearbooks from United Mennonite Educational Institute (UMEI), 1947-1980, local senior biographies written by UMEI history students, and EKMHA’s newsletter. The online collection continues to grow.

The repository is available at www.ekmha.ca/collections/


Mapping the City of Windsor’s Open Data

This map uses open data from the City of Windsor Open Data Catalogue. If you’re interested in the process used to make this map I’ve included step-by-steps at the bottom of the page. Drag and zoom to explore.

Key to icons:

red dot Large red = Community Centres
purple dot Large purple = Libraries
blue dot Large blue = Arenas
green-circle Small green = Heritage Sites (listed & designated)



This is how I made this map, but not exactly what I’d do next time. See note below.

  1. download csv files from the City of Windsor Site
  2. refine data using Excel* (see note below): columns were in different order on different spreadsheets, not all included all columns, added data type and icon type.
  3. import all spreadsheets into Google Fusion Tables
  4. modify data to recognize lat & long coordinates as Location
  5. Visualize map to view the data points on GoogleMaps.
  6. Embed map in blog.
  7. Share!

*Next time I plan to use Google Refine to clean the data. Working across multiple spreadsheets was a pain.

Total time to make the map: 30 mins.