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Humanities Hackathon: Small Data in a Big Way

Event Details

When: September 23, 2013, 3:30 PM–5:30 PM


Cost: Free; registration preferred, but not required

Contact: 608-316-4676, events@discovery.wisc.edu

The Humanities Hackathon, an ongoing collaboration between WID and the Center for the Humanities, investigates computational techniques from the sciences with humanities scholars to uncover unexpected connections and intriguing patterns in music, visual art, literature and historical works.

Monthly “hacks” bridge the gap between seemingly unrelated disciplines and enrich discussions about transdisciplinary work. Meetings consist of roughly one hour of presentations and discussion, followed by an hour of lab time, where participants can share projects, trade ideas, run programs, and receive support for software and techniques.

Presenter: Martin Foys, Associate Professor of English, Drew University and Director of the Digital Mappaemundi (DM) project


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Speaker Abstract:

Small Data in a Big Way: Customizing Linked Data in Medieval Maps and Manuscripts

This workshop will explore the functionality of the DM project, a developing on-line environment to allow scholars to collect and annotate digital images and texts collaboratively. In particular, DM emphasizes the continuing need within digital humanities resources for scholars to be able to generate bespoke scholarship – custom and targeted linked data of moments within images and texts – across large collections. Through the Virtual Mappa Project (VMP) – a partnership between the DM Project and the British Library focussed on medieval maps of the world – we will look at the DM Project’s new multi-up working environment, with innovative methods for managing the display, selection and annotation of several manuscript images and transcribed texts simultaneously. We’ll also review newly completed work for exporting the linked data created by users in Open Annotation Collaboration (OAC) compliant XML and RDF-triple formats, and touch on a few other medieval manuscript projects using DM, ranging from the institutional to the individual in scale. Finally, we’ll discuss the next phase of work already in development – establishing customizable collections of such annotated data, drawn from manuscript manifests hosted across multiple institutional repositories. During the presentation and discussion, a sandbox of the Virtual Mappa Project will be publicly available for hands-on experience of DM features.

More about Martin Foys:

Martin Foys is an Associate Professor of English at Drew. He specializes in the areas of Old and Middle English literature; critical theory, New media studies, digital scholarship. Some of his most recent publications include Virtually Anglo-Saxon: New Media, Old Media, and Early Medieval Studies in the Late Age of Print (Gainesville: University Press of Florida), 2007, for which he was a 2008 Finalist for the Modern Language Association’s First Book Prize, awarded Honorable Mention, and won a 2007 International Society of Anglo-Saxonists [ISAS] Best Book Publication Prize. Some of his recent research and publications include: with Shannon Bradshaw (Computer Science), Director of the Digital Mappaemundi Project (2010 – ); co-editor, The Bayeux Tapestry; New Interpretations (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer), 2009. He is also the incoming Executive Director of the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists, 2012-2015.