After spending some time getting acquainted with Omeka and Scalar this afternoon, I’ve been thinking through how one might decide between the two platforms for a given project. A hunch that I have is that projects could use either platform, but that the ways that the interfaces operate will ultimately lead them to have distinct internal architectures, and similarly, will look differently, despite having similar content. After uploading a few test pages and items, it feels very much as if Omeka’s interface emphasizes individual items and options for their arrangement and display, whereas Scalar’s strength lies in the flexibility to create a context in which those same items may be related to each other in a variety of ways.
In terms the way my mind works, I feel most comfortable building a context and inserting things into it. However, in considering my mapping mini-project, it feels more intuitive to think of locations on the map as distinct items, which would indicate that an Omeka exhibition that uses the geolocation plugin would be one potential route for creating the map. I am reluctant to go “all in” however, in part because I dislike the aesthetic quality of google maps, and want to be able to do more than simply drop a few pins onto it. With regard to Scalar, it is still somewhat unclear what possibilities the interface might offer for this type of project.
Before developing my own project plan, it feels important to further articulate the unique attributes of each system and the form created by their unique interfaces. As a result, I’m thinking about building two sample projects in Scalar and Omeka using the same (small) data set as a way to further understand their nuances. Stay tuned!