Maps and Timelines Prof. Alvarado MDST 3703/7703 13 November 2012
Business• Quizzes by Thursday• Project work continues on Thursday – Come prepared with ideas for your specific projects – Collaboration will be OK – We will learn to use SHIVA for maps and timelines
Review• Culturomics as exemplar of the new epistemology• Visualization as a genre of scholarship
Culturomics• An example of the “new epistemology” – Positivist – Correlation is enough – “The physics of clicks” (or words)• Transforms both questions and methods – What do these data represent? – More collaborative and quantitative• Employs visualization
Why does BLUE make a move from being with YELLOW to being with GREEN?
Visualization• A kind of scholarly product – Not just a supplement to writing, but in some cases a final product in its own right• Distinctive of the new epistemology• Occupies the space between data and narrative• As much about rhetoric and aesthetics as about logic and math
ImagePlot of Vertov’s film, The Eleventh HourBRIGHTNESSNum of SHAPES
Today we look at some of the basic forms of visualization and discuss them in terms of form and function Formal properties include the techniques used to convey ideas, such as the visual metaphors Functions include the purposes and effectsof a visualization – what does a visualizationdo for scholarship? How does it relate to the discovery of facts or the making of an argument?
Can you name a visual metaphor or devicethat has been used in the visualizations we have looked at?
Invented by the philosopher and mathematician Renee Descartes (1596-1650)What other devices might we use in our visualizations?
The devices we use to represent time andspace – maps and timelines – can be used to visualize data, information, and ideas
"We have spent most of thissemester trying to run awayand liberate ourselves fromtime and space, but it isimportant to find a space fora new digital understanding ofthese factors."
Four Ways to use Maps and Timelines in VisualizationI. By plotting precise spatial and/or temporal coordinates onto maps and timelines e.g. voting map, ngramsII. By drawing artistic overlays over maps and timelines e.g. Minard’s map of Napoleon in RussiasIII. By appropriating the map and the timeline as metaphors of more abstract dimensions e.g. Subway maps, narrative mapsIV. By combinations of these (e.g. with layers, etc.)
What are some functions, or effects, of these visualizations?
These visualizations tell stories Or, they start conversations, which is just as good
These visualizations operate at the border between narrative and dataNotice how we move from a map, to a story based on a map, to a map of a story …
Joanna Guldi @joguldiDr. Jo Guldi is Assistant Professor ofHistory at Brown University. Before that,she was an historian at the HarvardSociety of Fellows and a MellonPostdoctoral Fellow in Digital History atthe University of Chicago, as well as afellow of the Institute for EnablingGeospatial Scholarship. Her book, Roadsto Power (Harvard 2011), describes howBritain invented infrastructure andstrangers stopped speaking on the publicstreet. Jo is currently working on ahistory of capitalism and its relationshipto land use that will focus upon theinternational land reform movement ofthe nineteenth century.
―My first papers started at the hamster level — thecool patterns I could find using keyword searches inGoogle Books.‖ Guldi found, for example, that 90percent of English words denoting locomotion —creep, crawl, stride, scurry, waddle, meander, dash,and so forth — appear with noticeably greaterfrequency within 30 years of urbanization and theBritish road network. To an historian, this points toan important but subtle change in how the generalpublic observed each other and interacted. English,it turns out, is easily OCR’ed.
Guldi shows us that stories, which areinherently temporal, can be spatial as well 18th and 19th century Britain and France produce numerous examples of “spatial literature” Landscape catalogs, tour guides, “object stories”
LondonRedivivum,an exampleof a bookabout space
What do landscape catalogs remind you of?What do object narratives remind you of?
Database literature? Vertov’s Man with a Camera?There is a close connection between space,geography, and place on the one hand and database on the other
The need to control people and land, whichcoincides with the rise of the modern nation state, produces both statistics and spatial literature The result of this process is Big Data from the past. What can we do with it?
Texts also represent time … How can we extract it?
One approach is to mine @heml these texts for historical information. Bruce Robertson, Professor of Classics at Mount Allison University in Canada, has developed a markup approach to extracting and indexing data from documents.It’s an approach similar towhat we are doing with ourCharacter Index.
HEML – Historical Event<heml:Chronology> Markup Language – is a <heml:DateRange> <heml:StartingDate> way to mark up source <heml:DateTime> texts and then index 1995-05-21T21:03Z them so they can be </hemlDateTime> </heml:StartingDate> search, queried and <heml:EndingDate> visualized <heml:BoundedDate> <heml:TerminusPostQuem> <heml:Date>2005-03-21</heml:Date> </heml:TerminusPostQuem> <heml:TerminusAnteQuem> <heml:Date>2005-03-21</heml:Date> </heml:TerminusAnteQuem> </heml:BoundedDate> </heml:EndingDate> </heml:DateRange></heml:Chronology>
Is this an accurate generalrepresentation of an historical “event”?
HEML has been extended to use RDF, a language that allows you to use markup to define relationships between thingsStatement :<#Arrival_of_the_Greeks> <hemlRDF:simpleDate> -1600Reified Statement A:<#Drewes> <hemlRDF:asserts>(<#Arrival_of_the_Greeks> <hemlRDF:simpleDate> -1600)Reified Statement B:<#Renfrew> <hemlRDF:asserts> (<#Arrival_of_the_Greeks><hemlRDF:simpleDate -6000) In RDF – the foundation of what is called the “semantic web” – anything can have a URL, including people, places, ideas, etc. Textual passages can then be linked to their semantic contexts.
Tools You Can Use• Google Maps• Google Earth and KML• SIMILE Timeline• Dippity• TimeGlider