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This wiki space contains archival documentation of Project Bamboo, April 2008 - March 2013.

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Timeline of Anglo-Saxon England Scenario - rural liberal arts college

Collection Date:  12/4/2008

Scholar #1 Info:

  • Name:  A hypothetical assistant professor of Old and Middle English who teaches at a rural liberal arts college  (a scenario from the Bamboo Planning Project proposal to Mellon, January 28, 2008)
  • Email:
  • Title:
  • Institution/Organization:  A hypothetical rural liberal arts college
  • Field of Study/Creative Endeavor:  Old and Middle English

Scholar #2 Info:

  • Name:  A history professor at a research university who is an active scholar in the field of medieval cartography   (a scenario from the Bamboo Planning Project proposal to Mellon, January 28, 2008)
  • Email:
  • Title:
  • Institution/Organization:  A hypothetical research university
  • Field of Study/Creative Endeavor:  History / medieval cartography

Collector Info (can be the same as "Scholar" above):

  • Name:  Jim Muehlenberg
  • Emailmoved to restricted page
  • Title:  Assistant Director, Academic Technology
  • Institution/Organization:  Univ. of Wisconsin--Madison, Division of Information Technology



The scope section is provided by the collector, with input from the scholar(s), and attempts to estimate the scope of the group that performs the processes described: How broadly do the practices described in this story apply to others in same field, in related fields, etc?

  1. In the opinion of the scholar, who participates in the process the story describes?
    (e.g. "just this scholar", "many people in the scholar's field of inquiry", "all academics", etc.)
  2. What is this process intended to accomplish for the scholar?
  3. Who is the intended audience of the processes described?
  4. Is this the only process the scholar uses to accomplish his/her goals?
  5. What "shared services" would help transform the story into something of more benefit for the scholar or his/her audience?  What process or processes in the story could be automated?



Aggregate, Annotate, Consider, Discover, Interact?, Share and Publish


Another story from the Mellon proposal, section IV.1 A FEW YEARS FROM TODAY:

(Preface)  Assuming the success of the planning project and the implementation effort that would follow, what might a technology-based humanities project look like if it used the shared services approach promoted by Bamboo? Let's explore a basic and hypothetical scenario that assumes some key services, applications, and tools have been built and deployed across the Bamboo Community, and that services, resources, and content are being openly shared among individuals, projects, and institutions.

Our story starts with an assistant professor of Old and Middle English who
teaches at a rural liberal arts college. The college has adopted Bamboo as a
model for creating and sharing academic projects and as such, the institution can
1) discover and use content and application services exposed to the Bamboo
Community, and 2) publish and deliver services containing specific usage criteria
and levels of reliability (from experimental through to production) that can be
openly adopted and if allowed, modified in a derivative manner by members of

During the course of teaching "History of the English Language," a small number
of advanced undergraduates express an interest in more deeply exploring the
evolution of English language and culture prior to the Norman conquest of Anglo-
Saxon England in 1066. Inspired by their interest, the faculty member envisions
a resource for her students that would gather together a number of digitized
manuscript items (maps, charters, homilies, etc.), contemporary maps, and texts
into a single virtual collection that would be accessed via an interactive timeline
embedded within a web page.

Because none of the content exists on her campus, she turns to the Bamboo Discovery
Tool to seek out content (or more specifically, content services) from
across the Bamboo Community that matches her needs. She discovers that one
national library and three research university libraries have digitized works that
meet her requirements along with Google for contemporary maps and some digitized
texts. Not knowing where to look for a timeline application, she uses the
Discovery Tool once again, but this time locates a timeline widget not unlike the
SIMILE Timeline tool from MIT. Because everything she discovered is exposed
to the Bamboo Community, she knows that each provider will allow her -
under specific conditions that are published as part of the service - to use materials
for academic purposes, and that both the content and tools will be exposed via
software services that she can connect together in standard ways to meet her specific
needs. Because she is not a programmer and does not have access to programming
resources, she turns to the web-based Bamboo Composer Tool, a
visual development environment similar to SEASR and Yahoo! Pipes, to
graphically connect the content resources with the timeline widget. She expands
upon the content with her own research, which includes a unique approach to
medieval maps, and creates her new application. She embeds the timeline within
her web page and exposes her tool, Timeline of Anglo-Saxon England (TASE), to
the Bamboo Community for others to use.

Weeks later, a history professor at a research university who is an active scholar
in the field of medieval cartography discovers TASE and is particularly interested
in the assistant professor's approach to Anglo-Saxon maps. Not knowing
her scholarship, he studies her approach and feels it would be useful to include
her perspective as a tool within his field's virtual research environment (VRE).
So in accordance with the usage criteria she included with the TASE application
when she published it into the Bamboo Community, he incorporates TASE (with
citation) into his project's virtual research environment. His VRE allows faculty
working on medieval cartography to share ideas, collaborate on projects, publish
whitepapers, etc., but also allows researchers in the field to annotate and comment
on materials. Because the virtual research environment is "Bamboo aware"
and can incorporate Bamboo services, the history professor connects the TASE
application service with the VRE's annotation service. Not long after creating
"annotated TASE," scholars begin to add comments to the timeline, use it as a
basis for a series of discussions, and explore a research direction based on the assistant
professor's approach captured within her application.

Back at the college, the assistant professor is preparing her promotion and tenure
packet, and cites TASE as an important tool she created to both inspire students
and enhance her teaching. Having not asked for automated reporting from Bamboo,
she uses the Bamboo Reporting Tool to look at the usage statistics to see
how much the tool was used by her students. Aside from the local statistics, she
discovers that 15 institutions within the Bamboo Community have adopted TASE
as a teaching and learning widget and are using it quite heavily in upper-level and
graduate-level courses. Furthermore, she learns that seven institutions have taken
her tool and created derivative works in accordance with her usage criteria, and
that one of those institutions has been using it quite heavily in a non-teaching
context. In addition, she learns that TASE in that particular case has been extended
with an annotation tool. Using data collected by Bamboo and available to
her as an application publisher, she visits the history professor's medieval cartography
virtual research environment and discovers the expanding discourse around
her approach to Anglo-Saxon maps. Buoyed by this discovery, she engages with
this particular research community and further pursues ways to create new tools
with Bamboo that helps her share her research, illustrate concepts, and enhance
the teaching and learning experience on her campus.

Notes on Methodology:

Scenario was created by authors of the Mellon proposal (see the Preface paragraph above).

Other Comments:

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