Why Update ORBIS?

There’s a lot of digital humanities left to be done. There are books that haven’t been digitized that need to be mined to find trends to put on maps using algorithms that haven’t even been designed yet. So, when you consider that the significant effort necessary to put a new finish on a project like ORBIS, you might think it’s a waste of time. I know I get a bit uncomfortable about it when I consider the other projects that were proposed and which lost out on achieving some measure of implementation because of the support for a version 2 of ORBIS. It’s not a zero sum game that we have going in this field, but it does suffer from entrenchment and there are natural inducements to supporting existing, successful work that can foster a rich-get-richer climate.

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