DepositThe Black Press Research Collective Newspaper Project: Visualizing the History of the Black Press in the United States

In a little over a decade, historical and contemporary black newspapers have been digitized at a rapid rate. Yet a critical body of scholarship of these newspapers’ impact continues to lag behind the technological developments, which have made these newspapers available to scholars and students. This dearth, in part, results from insufficient digital tools, which might assist researchers in understanding the geographic scope and social magnitude of the Black Press. The Center for Africana Studies at Johns Hopkins University and the Black Press Research Collective (BPRC) propose to develop a two-day workshop to discuss the development of mapping and geocoding tools and data visualization authoring programs to assist scholars in producing traditional and digital humanities scholarship on the Black Press. The workshop will bring together key Black Press scholars, librarians, archivists and data visualization experts to develop plans to create data visualizations from select data on the Black Press. The workshop will result in a white paper on the state of scholarship on the Black Press and proposals to develop a set of visualizations of its history.

MemberDimitris C. Papadopoulos

I am an anthropologist and a digital humanist working on built, historic, and mediated environments. My work focuses on space, place and landscape, borders and borderlands, and liminal spaces of transition, displacement, or contestation with a regional focus on Greece, Southeast Europe, and the Mediterranean. I am also interested in the dynamics between physical and digital spaces especially as shaped through mapping, data visualization and the design of information environments for learning, research, and storytelling.

DepositCompatible Database Initiative: Fostering Interoperable Data for Network Mapping and Visualization

The Compatible Database Initiative requests Level I Digital Start-Up support to convene a two-day conference and several tele-conferenced planning meetings to foster interoperable person-centric data standards for network analysis and visualization. Numerous humanities scholars are engaged in building relational databases for historical and cultural research. Such network mapping and visualization projects include The Crowded Page, Phylo, Yaddo Archive Project, and Explore Thomas Cole. But these topical projects have developed separately with unique database structures. The field-wide problem is that diverse data structures lack interoperability: data collected for one project is incompatible with data from another. This initiative will spur a conversation among these projects’ architects and leading figures in database architecture and data visualization. Our goal is to create the first open source data design standards for interoperability in database mapping and visualization.

DepositCoCensus: Collaboration Exploration of Census Data in a Museum

Museums play a role in American intellectual life as places for members of the public to gather, learn, and engage in discourse about human experience and knowledge (Conn, 1998). As cultural and historical research is informed by increasingly complex information, museums can support visitor discourse around such complex data. To this end, we will construct a prototype museum exhibit, CoCensus, at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, using an innovative combination of an ambient data map display and RFID technology to allow visitors to interact with dynamic visualizations of census data on a local map. This innovative design will enable multiple visitors to cooperatively investigate and discuss complex data and the personal dimensions of American identity. This work highlights important issues for designing public educational spaces to support collaborative data visualization, and take steps towards making large digital resources accessible within the social learning milieu of museums.

MemberGuy Birkin

Senior Research Executive at CFE Research, Leicester, UK, an independent company doing social research on education, employment, wellbeing for government, public authorities and education providers. I work on design, field work and analysis of research, specializing in literature reviews, quantitative and qualitative analysis, and data visualization. My work is mainly in the area of education, particularly education in the arts and in science/STEM subjects, in relation to socioeconomic disadvantage, gender and ethnicity. Independently, I continue my academic research on aesthetic complexity – investigating how complexity is perceived, understood and used in visual art and music. This research supports and is supported by my creative practice – generative music and visual art.

DepositVisualizing the Past: Tools and Techniques for Understanding Historical Processes

The University of Richmond requests a Level I Digital Humanities Start-Up grant to bring together experts for investigations about how to overcome limitations that prevent most humanities scholars from taking advantage of visualization techniques in their research. The grant will fund a two-day workshop where invited scholars will discuss current work on visualizing historical processes, and together consider: (1) How can we harness emerging cyber-infrastructure tools and interoperability standards to explore, visualize, and analyze spatial and temporal components of distributed digital archives to better understand historical events and processes? (2) How can user-friendly tools or web sites be created to allow scholars and researchers to animate spatial and temporal data housed on different systems across the Internet? The grant will also fund initial experiments toward creating new tools for overcoming obstacles to data visualization work. Results will be presented as a white paper.