In 1908 Ina von Grumbkow undertook an expedition to Iceland. She later made significant contributions to the field of natural history and wrote several books but other than passing references online and a mention on her husband’s Wikipedia page, her story is only available to those with access to sources like the ‘Earth Sciences History’ journal.
Cumulative centuries of archival and theoretical work have been spent recovering women’s histories, yet much of this inspiring scholarship is invisible outside academia. Inspired by research into the use and creation of digital resources and the wider impact of these resources on historians and their scholarship, this paper is a deliberate provocation: if we believe the subjects of our research are important, then we should ensure they are represented on freely available encyclopaedic sites like Wikipedia.
Wikipedia is the fifth most visited website in the world and the first port of call for most students and the public, yet women’s history is poorly represented. This paper discusses how the difficulties of adding women’s histories to Wikipedia exemplify some of the new challenges and opportunities of digital history and the ways in which it blurs the line between public history and purely academic research.
Update: I’ve posted my talk notes at New challenges in digital history: sharing women’s history on Wikipedia – my draft talk notes.
My latest article for Museum Identity magazine, Where next for open cultural data in museums?, is now live online and in the current print issue of Museum-iD 13.
Site abstract: “Museums have increasingly been joining the global movement for open data by opening up their databases, sharing their images and releasing their knowledge. Mia Ridge presents a brief history of open cultural data projects, explores some reasons why some data is relatively under-used and looks to the future of open cultural data”.
A collection of links for further reading for the British Library’s Digital Scholarship course on ‘Crowdsourcing in Libraries, Museums and Cultural Heritage Institutions’.
Crowdsourcing projects discussed
Other relevant crowdsourcing projects
There are discussion questions and notes for reviewing sites on another post on ‘NITLE ‘Crowdsourcing’ seminar‘.
- Alam, Sultana Lubna, and John Campbell. 2012. “Crowdsourcing Motivations in a Not-for-profit GLAM Context : the Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program.” ACIS 2012 : Location, Location, Location : Proceedings of the 23rd Australasian Conference on Information Systems 2012 (November 8): 1–11.
- Bruno, Elena. 2011. ‘Smithsonian Crowdsourcing Since 1849!’ Smithsonian Institution Archives. April 14. http://siarchives.si.edu/blog/smithsonian-crowdsourcing-1849.
- Caplan-Bricker, Nora. 2013. “Crowdfunding Culture: Namaste, and Welcome to the Smithsonian.” New Republic.
- Clary, E. Gil, Mark Snyder, Robert D Ridge, John Copeland, Arthur A Stukas, Julie Haugen, and Peter Miene. 1998. “Understanding and Assessing the Motivations of Volunteers: a Functional Approach.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 74 (6) (June): 1516–30.
- Dunn, Stuart, and Mark Hedges. 2012. Crowd-Sourcing Scoping Study: Engaging the Crowd with Humanities Research. London.
- Gilliver, Peter. 2012. ‘‘Your dictionary needs you’: a brief history of the OED’s appeals to the public‘. Oxford English Dictionary website.
- Hagon, Paul. Information online trove crowdsourcing behaviour (slides)
- Holley, Rose. 2010. ‘Crowdsourcing: How and Why Should Libraries Do It?’ D-Lib Magazine.
- Howe, Jeff. 2006, ‘The Rise of Crowdsourcing’, Wired.
- Kosmala, Margaret. 2013. “Analysis of ‘Save Snapshot Serengeti’.” Snapshot Serengeti. http://blog.snapshotserengeti.org/2013/08/28/analysis-of-save-snapshot-serengeti/.
- Lewis, Caroline. (2013). “Crowdfunding the Library.” Library Journal. April 17. http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2013/04/funding/crowdfunding-the-library/.
- Millikan, Frank Rives. 2012. ‘Joseph Henry: Father of Weather Service’. The Joseph Henry Papers Project, Smithsonian Institution Archives. Accessed October 28. http://siarchives.si.edu/history/jhp/joseph03.htm.
- Oomen, Johan, and Lora Aroyo. 2011. “Crowdsourcing in the Cultural Heritage Domain: Opportunities and Challenges.” In 5th International Conference on Communities and Technologies, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia. Vol. 29.
- Ridge, Mia. 2011. Playing with Difficult Objects – Game Designs to Improve Museum Collections. In J. Trant and D. Bearman (eds). Museums and the Web 2011: Proceedings. Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics.
- Ridge, Mia. 2012. Frequently Asked Questions about crowdsourcing in cultural heritage, Open Objects
- RunCoCo’s Run a Community Collection Online
- Shirky, Clay. (2011). Cognitive surplus: creativity and generosity in a connected age. London, Penguin.
- Terras, M (2009) Digital Curiosities: Resource Creation Via Amateur Digitisation. Literary and Linguistic Computing , 25 (4) 425 – 438. 10.1093/llc/fqq019.
- Trant, J. (2009) Tagging, Folksonomy and Art Museums: Results of steve.museum’s Research. In: Archives & Museum Informatics: 2009.
- Schiller, (Ben. 2012). “Unglue.It: Crowd-Funding A Revolution In Libraries.” Co.Exist. http://www.fastcoexist.com/1679462/unglueit-crowd-funding-a-revolution-in-libraries.
Woodcut, An anatomy of Daniel’s statue, 1585.
A collection of links for further reading for the British Library’s Digital Scholarship course on ‘Data Visualisation for Analysis in Scholarly Research’. I update this each time I teach the course, so please leave a comment if you know of any great sources I’ve missed. Slides and exercises for each version of the workshop are below. Many thanks to workshop participants for their feedback, as it directly helps make the next version more effective. And of course huge thanks to Nora McGregor and the British Library’s Digital Scholarship team!
Last updated 4 May 2013. Image: Woodcut of the statue described by the prophet Daniel, from Lorenz Faust’s Anatomia statuae Danielis (“An anatomy of Daniel’s statue”), 1585. In Alan Jacobs, History as wall art.
Sources cited and references to find out more
Histories of data visualisation
Definitions of data visualisation
Types of visualisations
- A Tour through the Visualization Zoo: A survey of powerful visualization techniques, from the obvious to the obscure, Jeffrey Heer, Michael Bostock, Vadim Ogievetsky
- Chart and image gallery: 30+ free tools for data visualization and analysis provides a useful overview chart that can be sorted by skill level, platform, etc, with related reviews and screenshots. See also A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods, Brian Suda’s Top 20 data visualisation tools, or idea.org’s Great tools for data visualization.
- Selected tools for visualisations, a curated selection from datavisualization.ch – recommended
- Narrative Visualization: Telling Stories with Data, Edward Segel, Jeffrey Heer
- Timelines: the London 2012 Olympic Games on Twitter, emoto (also an example of visualising sentiment analysis, where computational techniques are used to detect subjective emotions)
- Timelines: Wellcome Library History of Genetics timeline
- N-grams: Google Ngram viewer
- N-grams: bookworm Open Library
- Text mining for Historians
- Topic mining: Mining for meanings, Tim Sherratt
- Topic mining: Mining the Dispatch, Robert K. Nelson
- Topic mining: Topic Modeling Tool
- Network visualisations: Les Misérables character interaction presented as a force directed graph.
- Network visualisations: O rocks! Tell it to us in plain images (A THATCamp/Bloomsday Visualization)
- Infographics: The Fascinating World of (Good) Infographics (and some infographics on bad infographics)
- Infographics: Ending the Infographic Plague, Megan McArdle
- Infographics: We’ve Reached Peak Infographic, and We’re No Smarter for It, Dylan C. Lathrop
- Visualising media: One million manga pages, Lev Manovich and “How to Compare One Million Images?” In David Berry, ed., Understanding Digital Humanities (Palgrave, 2012).
Planning and designing good data visualisations
- How to Design an Excellent Chart is focused on charts for telling stories (rather than exploring to find new ones) and includes Andrew Abela’s ‘chart chooser’ diagram for showing distribution, composition, relationship or comparison data. See also Juice Lab’s interactive Chart Chooser.
- Nominal, Sequential, or Diverging? Simple Strategies for Improving Any Chart’s Colors
- Statistics glossary on Presenting data (for a refresher on ordinal, nominal, interval etc data)
- Effective Graphs blog by Naomi Robbins (including some great ‘what not to do‘ examples)
- Eenie, Meenie, Minie, Moe: Selecting the Right Graph for Your Message (PDF), Stephen Few
- Information Display Tips, Connie Malamed (useful on ‘visually distinct objects’)
- How to Avoid Designs that Split Attention, Connie Malamed
- Information Visualization Framework, Manuel Lima
- Make for Data Scientists and Introducing Drake, a kind of ‘make for data’ (getting a bit techie but useful for thinking about ways to manage different versions of your datasets as you clean and refine)
Data visualisation for scholarly research
See also the projects listed in the Exercises section below.
- Data Visualization Talks Online, 2010 post from Alark Joshi listing various videos
- Data and visualization blogs worth following (early 2012 post by Nathan Yau)
- Few, Stephen. 2009. Now I See It: Simple Visualization Techniques for Quantitative Analysis. Analytics Press.
- Lima, Manuel. 2011. Visual complexity: mapping patterns of information. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.
- Moretti, Franco. 2005. Graphs, maps, trees: abstract models for a literary history. London: Verso.
- Rosenberg, Daniel, and Grafton, Anthony. 2010. Cartographies of Time: A History of the Timeline. Princeton Architectural Press
- Tufte, Edward R. 1983. The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Graphics Press.
- Tufte, Edward R. 2007. Beautiful evidence. Cheshire, Conn: Graphics press.
- Ware, Colin. 2008. Visual Thinking for Design. Morgan Kaufmann.
- Yau, Nathan. 2011. Visualize this: the FlowingData guide to design, visualization, and statistics. Indianapolis, Ind: Wiley Pub.
Links for exercises
January 2013 versions: Data Visualisation for Analysis in Scholarly Research slides and Datasets for playing
April 2013: Exercises for Data Visualisation for Analysis in Scholarly Research (PDF), Data Visualisation for Analysis in Scholarly Research_April2013_slideshandout (PDF), Inspiring Women through History_April2013 (Excel dataset).
My bio as a sample timeline and map in Neatline
Scholarly visualisations to explore and discuss
Trying entity recognition and data enhancement
I’ve suggested a few tools as they each have different strengths and weaknesses. If you don’t have any of your own text to hand, try a paragraph or two of text from a news website.
Cleaning data as preparation for visualisation
I am proud to share that I was elected to serve on the Executive Council of the Association for Computers and the Humanities (ACH) for the 2013-2016 term, alongside Brian Croxall, Jennifer Guiliano, and Ernesto Priego (2013).
I was invited to be a panellist for Oxford ASPIRE’s first knowledge sharing event on 13th November 2012, Living in the Digital World: Horizon Scanning for Museums (PDF). Oxford ASPIRE is a consortium of Oxford University Museums (the Ashmolean, Pitt Rivers, History of Science, Natural History Museums) and the Oxfordshire County Museums Service.
As they say in their post, ASPIRE Digital Roundtable: “Horizon Scanning: Living in the Digital World”, ‘This roundtable event brought together a small number of museum professionals to discuss how museums could thrive in the increasingly digital landscape by exploring innovations, opportunities for collaboration and funding sources.
Our 16 delegates gathered at the Pitt Rivers Museum and questions and ideas began bubbling immediately over coffee. The event officially began with thoughts and provocations from our four expert panelists who gave their over-view of the key digital issues facing museums. Delegates and panelists then entered into a lively and illuminating conversation.’ They’ve linked to podcasts and transcripts of the introductions in their post.
A two-hour workshop for the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, on Neatline. Organised by Anouk Lang, it was their first digital humanities workshop and was designed as an opportunity to learn about Neatline and explore what it could (and couldn’t) do.
Neatline workshop notes for the University of Strathclyde (PDF) Neatline workshop slides for the University of Strathclyde (Powerpoint)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
I’ve also written up some of my thoughts after the workshop at Reflections on teaching Neatline.
I co-wrote a post with Suse Cairns in reply to a post from Jasper Visser on Opportunities and Challenges with Reproductions for the American Alliance of Museums’ Center for the Future of Museums blog.
As the introduction to A Reply to “On the Opportunities and Challenges of Reproductions” says, Jasper’s post and our response came out of a conversation on twitter about the launch of the exhibition. Many thanks to Elizabeth Merritt and the Center for the Future of Museums for hosting our discussion.
Posted in museums, review
I was invited to Taipei, Taiwan for the ‘eCulture & Open Cultural Data Forum’ by TELDAP (Taiwan e-Learning and Digital Archives Programs), MCN Taiwan and Culturemondo Asia Pacific. Many thanks to my hosts and organisers for their hospitality, for the meetings they organised with various national museums and for the opportunity to discuss open cultural data with staff from Taiwanese museums, libraries and archives.
As well as my keynote on ‘Global communities and open cultural data: movements towards linked open data in libraries, archives and museums’, I lead a further day and a half of seminars with Shih-Chieh Ilya Li at the Academia Sinica, Taiwan on:
- eCulture, Data Immersion & Open Cultural Data
- Why Open Cultural Data?
- What is Linked Open Data (LOD) ?
- Strategy and Planning Open Cultural Data
- Technologies, standards and licenses for Linked Open Data
- How to open your cultural Data
- Group exercise: planning LOD projects