As we have already written on this blog, the fourth event within the Hestia 2 programme recently took place in Birmingham. With its focus on qualitative GIS and narrative mapping, this symposium was closest to my own academic interests and motivations for participating in the project. Its selection of papers, audience and topics achieved one of the long-standing aims of the Hestia team: to bring together the social sciences, humanities and the ‘IT crowd’ in a genuine interdisciplinary dialogue. Testifying to the success of the event were the high attendance rate, the diverse professional backgrounds of participants, and the numerous follow up discussions instigated on different fora (particularly twitter and the ‘blogosphere’).Read More»
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.Read More»
I was pleased to participate in the Hestia2@Stanford event held December 4-5, 2013 at Stanford’s Center for Spatial and Textual Studies (CESTA). The program, titled Visualizing Complex Networks, included several researchers from Stanford as well as a couple of digital humanities initiatives in nearby San Francisco. The plan was to share progress and prospects for some local projects that “explore network analysis and uncertainty in data from a number of different perspectives,” touching on topics and methodologies related to the Hestia project.Read More»
Back in November Hestia2 held its second seminar in a place where the sun really does always shine (see below): Stanford, California. There was a very good reason, in addition to being able to wear a t-shirt in November, for holding a seminar on Digital Humanities in Stanford. With its campus in Palo Alto, Stanford shares a location with a number of high-tech household names, including Apple, Google and Facebook, while smaller start-ups in the San Francisco Bay Area are but a short Caltrain ride away. One of these, Farallon Geographics, has recently worked with the Getty Conservation Institute and World Monuments Fund, to produce an open-source, web-based, geospatial information system for cultural heritage inventory and management, called Arches, showing the massive potential for collaboration between private digital enterprise and the public cultural sector, including higher education.Read More»
Hestia2 is a public engagement project aimed at introducing a series of conceptual and practical innovations to the spatial reading and visualisation of texts. Following on from the AHRC-funded “Network, Relation, Flow: Imaginations of Space in Herodotus’s Histories” (October 2008 – July 2010), Hestia2 represents a deliberate shift from experimenting with geospatial analysis of a single text to making Hestia’s outcomes available to new audiences and widely applicable to other texts through a seminar series, online platform, blog and learning materials with the purpose of fostering knowledge exchange between researchers and non-academics, and generating public interest and engagement in this field. You can read more about the new phase here.