Monday, March 11, 2013

Are you interested in using data to tell compelling visual stories?

Source: The Spatial History Project
Don't miss our next reading group session at 2-3pm on Friday 22 March where we will be discussing data visualisation.

Please note we have changed the venue for this session.
We will be meeting at the UWA iVEC facility which is located on the ground floor of the Physics building (entrance opposite the Reid Library or through the main Physics foyer). The iVEC team are supercomputing specialists who provide a range of support services for UWA researchers. We've booked out the conference room and also their impressive visualisation laboratory. We'll combine a discussion of the readings (below) with a tour of iVEC and a demo of vis tools and technologies by Paul Bourke (Director, iVEC@UWA).

The iVEC visualisation laboratory at UWA

Numbers are limited so please RSVP to The session is scheduled for 2-3pm but I have booked the facilities until 4pm as I know our discussions tend to run over.

What you need to know:

Not only are researchers in the humanities developing new tools and methodologies to analyse large, complex datasets - they are developing innovative ways to communicate their findings.

The session will be hosted by UWA historian, Ethan Blue, who is developing a concept for a data visualisation project based on his work on American deportation networks in early twentieth century. He's interested in the ways in which historians are using geospacial visualisations to map interconnections, networks, movement, and change. The session will focus on historical research but the topic is relevant to a broad range of disciplines.

Recommended readings:

Jack Dougherty and Kristen Nawrotzk, Writing History in the Digital Age, 2012.
Part 1: Re-Visioning Historical Writing
Part 5: See What I Mean? Visual, Spatial, and Game-based History

You may also like to read Zephyr Frank's 'Layers, Flows And Intersections: Jeronymo José De Mello And Artisan Life In Rio De Janeiro, 1840s-1880' which was published in Journal of Social History (2007). Frank used datasets and maps to write a social history of Rio de Janeiro's artisans.

You can view a series of Frank's connected creative visualisations on the Stanford University's Spatial History Project website.

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