The Neatline Sandbox looks interesting, and like it might have good potential as a visualization tool. However, I admit to being a bit stumped about using the Sandbox. Can anyone point me towards a tutorial, which might discuss the different functional tools contained in the Sandbox? I created a new item, and got to the screen with a picture of the world and several buttons to use, but have so far not been able to generate anything that looks like a visualization. Any help in that area would be greatly appreciated.
Google Maps proved a bit easier to use. The tutorial showed me how to use some basic tools in the application, and gave me enough information for me to work with. I chose an easy routing option, just taking my run route to the WWII Monument on the National Mall. (Note: I tried to attach my file to this post, but was unsuccessful. The .kmz format of Google Earth is not something I was able to upload).
Here again, I can see how this is a great tool, but it is one that can only do a few things well. It does not seem well-suited to a variety of tasks. Perhaps spending some more time experimenting and learning the tool will produce some more valuable products.
The challenge for me with many of these tools is that they are not as intuitive as I would like them to be. I have gotten used to IPhone and IPad type applications, which are fairly intuitive and take little time or effort to learn (especially for my technologically-challenged brain!).
Also, I find that knowing what your goals are, and what type of outcome you want to produce, is vitally important to the project. Without having a clear idea of what I wanted to do, experimentation was challenging at best, debilitating at worst. Key to success lies in understanding the tools, understanding one’s research, and understanding how to bring both of them together to produce historical research that others (scholars, students or the public) will find easy to use.