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Creating Spatial Historical Knowledge: New Approaches, Opportunities and Epistemological Implications of Mapping History Digitally examines emerging digital approaches to the creation of spatial historical knowledge. The conference is convened by Matthew Hiebert (GHI), Simone Lässing (GHI), and Stephen Robertson (George Mason University) in collaboration with the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at Berkeley.
The ascendance of neogeography and digital humanities has resulted in a global explosion of scholarly mapping projects that appear to overcome the limitations of traditional Historical GIS by utilizing dynamic content and accessible tools. Contemporary historical research has also increasingly focused on the role of print-based maps in the construction of nations, surpralocal identities, and imperial territories.
Digitizing such maps and enriching them with metadata and other information is clearly useful for scholars at an international level, but mapping projects often focus on technological solutions rather than methodological or theoretical implications for historical scholarship.
These workshops seek to fill that gap by reflecting on digital mapping's impact on contemporary conceptions of history, methodology, Quellenkritik, and theoretical frameworks. With the help of digital humanities professionals and digital mapping experts, participants will explore how the discipline of history and the knowledge it creates are changing in response to a new digital spatial turn.
Please Note: Workshop attendance requires individual registration for each workshop. Please click the "register" button in the right of the screen to reserve seats. All workshop participants are requested to bring a laptop if possible.
PLEASE NOTE: Although there are eight workshops, one person can only register for a maximum of four as two take place during each time slot.
Workshop Schedule--Thursday, October 20
Session 1 -- 9:30-11:15
"Garage Band GIS or Every Historian a Mapmaker" (Seminar Room)
Helmut Walser Smith (Vanderbilt University)
This workshop will be led by Helmut Walser Smith of Vanderbilt University.
"Prospect" (Reading Room)
Michael Newton (Digital Innovation Lab)
Prospect is a new data curation and visualization collaboratory developed in the Digital Innovation Lab at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill). Prospect supports a number of data visualization techniques, including geo-spatial maps, and is implemented as a plugin for WordPress. Prospect offers a number of easy-to-use geo-spatial features, such TMS overlay maps and map groups, marker coloring via a Legend mechanism, variable marker sizing determined by a numeric attribute, connections between markers, and more. Prospect complements geo-spatial visualizations with a range of other graphic representations: card galleries, timelines, facet browsers, parallel sets, tree maps, networks, and more. It also allows users to filter and highlight data on visualizations according to arbitrary attribute criteria and to coordinate embedded references to records in textual narratives with data visualizations so as to create dynamic diagrams.
This workshop run by Michael Newton of Digital Innovation Lab will demonstrate some of the main features and affordances of Prospect by highlighting projects built with the platform. It will also guide users who have access to their own WordPress site through configuring Prospect with a sample data set.
Coffee -- 11:15-11:30
Session 2 -- 11:30-1:15
"Co-Created Cultural Gazetteers for Digital Spatial Research" (Seminar Room)
David Joseph Wrisley (American University of Beirut)
What kinds of basic historical knowledge helps make “places into centers of meaning” (Mostern & Johnson)? Southall, Mostern and Berman (2011) have argued that whereas geographers tend to prefer time-based or feature-based gazetteers, historical research would benefit from other sorts of cultural information: events, texts, objects, languages. This workshop (1) investigates models for participatory creation of scholarly spatial data and meta-data in their early stages, (2) explores the kinds of “depth” of information that historians, literary historians or art historians might want to include in a cultural gazetteer, and (3) discusses in a roundtable format the implications of such co-created data. Led by David Joseph Wrisely (American University of Beirut) this workshop will involve hands-on discovery of both traditional and emergent models of co-curated gazetteers, such as Pleiades, Ieldran, JewishGen, PlaceNames, China Historical GIS, and Gazetteer for Early Modern London.
"The Panorama Toolkit" (Reading Room)
Robert Nelson (University of Richmond)
Eric Rodenbeck (Stamen Design)
Run by Robert Nelson and Eric Rodenbeck, this workshop will provide an introduction to the open-source toolkit developed for American Panorama. A suite of more than twenty "components," the toolkit is tailored for the creation of interactive, data-rich historical maps. These components can be used in a React application. This makes them adaptable and flexible, but it also means developing a map using the toolkit requires some facility with programming.
Lunch -- 1:15-2:15
Session 3 -- 2:15-4:00
"Nodegoat" (Seminar Room)
Pim van Bree and Greet Kessels (LAB1100)
Nodegoat is a web-based research environment that facilitates an object-oriented form of data management with integrated support for diachronic and spatial modes of analysis. This research environment has been developed to allow scholars to design custom relational database models. Nodegoat dynamically combines and extends these functionalities in one web-based GUI. As a result, nodegoat offers researchers an environment that seamlessly combines data management functionalities with the ability to analyze and visualize data.
Run by Pim an Bree and Geert Kessels of LAB1100 this workshop will (1) present nodegoat's methodological framework based on actor-network theory, (2) demonstrate the methodology by means of a hands-on introduction to the functionalities of nodegoat, and (3) provide two case students in which participants are asked to explore data in nodegoat towards discussing geographical representation, uncertainty in both time and geolocalization, and approaches to the exploration of dynamic datasets by both researchers and public audiences.
"Georeferencing Historical Maps" (Reading Room)
Randa El Khatib (University of Victoria, Canada)
This workshop will focus on teaching participants to georederence historical maps in order to accurately reflect their target historical period in spatial terms. It will also point participants to key open access tools that will help enhance their mapping practices more generally. This includes automatically geoparsing data in any text, and exporting this information into a file that can be reusable on other platforms. We will also explore major historical gazetters for spatial data. Throughout the workshop, key concepts in digital/spatial humanities will be addressed.
Coffee -- 4:00-4:15
Session 4 -- 4:15-6:00
"Spatial History Pedagogy" (Seminar Room)
Franzika Seraphim (Boston College), Joe Nugent (Boston College), and Paul Vierthaler (Leiden University)
Led by Franziska Seraphim (Boston College), Joe Nugent (Boston College), and Paul Vierthalter (Leiden University), the purpose of this workshop is to explore the (undergraduate) classroom as a laboratory for digital scholarship. Involving students in the humanities and social sciences (specifically History and English) in the production of knowledge beyond individual academic paper writing opens up new possibilities for active and collaborative learning and ultimately prepares them for the “real world” more holistically. Like the outside-grant supported (digital) projects that tend to drive faculty research, “doing history” via digital technology introduces students to the life cycle of historical research, from data collection (primary sources) to contextualization and interpretation (via secondary sources) to publication in forms that are more immediate than the usual printed article or book. The classroom-as-laboratory offers opportunities to introduce students to the idea and practice of using available mapping technology to visualize history—that is, to use quantitative information to ask and answer qualitative questions—and to have something to show for it at the end. This presents a whole set of new challenges: generating interest in these new technologies among humanities students, configuring the classroom in such a way that it brings together different student expertise to make collaboration fruitful, balancing academic content-driven work with practical technology-driven skills, and partnering with library staff to sequence class and homework activities.
"Exploring the Social Impact of Mapping Community Memory with Historypin" (Reading Room)
Joss Voss (Historypin)
In this workshop, we’ll explore the intersection of geographical history, personal narrative, archival content, and social change. Now used by over 75,000 individuals and 3,000 cultural heritage organizations and local groups around the world, Historypin is a free and easy-to-use platform to help build community around local history. We use Linked Open Data technologies and an API to share our metadata and interoperate with a growing number of content and preservations partners including the Internet Archive, Europeana, and the Digital Public Library of America.
In this workshop, we’ll give an overview of the Historypin project, how it is being used in local communities and by scholars to engage with knowledge communities, as well as some of our major initiatives. We will also walk through our user-centered design process for community memory projects, including audience analysis, outcome mapping, product design, outreach, execution and evaluation. Finally, we’ll demonstrate how (and why) you can use Historypin in your own community or for a specific project.
There will also be a public lecture from 6:30-8:00 pm. To learn more about Stephen Robertson's Toward a Spatial Narrative of the 1935 Harlem Riot: Mapping and Storytelling after the Geospatial Turn, visit the registration page.