More new tools and methods

I’ve been attending the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO) Digital Humanities (DH) workshops and conference in Hamburg (which has 510 registrants) and have learned about a number of new tools and methods for working with text, images, and media, often with large collections of primary sources that can only be analysed computationally. On the way here I called in at the MPI in Nijmegen and heard a presentation (pdf is here) by Peter Withers about the new tool they have produced called KinOath (http://www.lat-mpi.eu/tools/tools/kinoath), software for mapping kinship relations.

At DH, Jost Gippert showed us his use of multispectral imaging of manuscripts to allow writing that is invisible to the eye to be seen using a spectrum of color reception that captures only the script of interest. He gave an example of the Behaim globe from 1491 – the oldest known globe – where the text was unreadable but became legible if using multispectral analysis.

I attended a course given by Mia Ridge titled ‘Learning to play like a programmer: web mash-ups and scripting for beginners‘. This class focussed on using javascripts and other tools for connecting web-based information. She pointed us to some useful sites for data cleanup, including google refine (code.google.com/p/google-refine) and MrDataconverter (shancarter.com/data_converter/). And she showed us a nice page of data visualisation tools (http://selection.datavisualization.ch/).

Stéfan Sinclair and Geoffrey Rockwell gave a class on their Voyant tools (http://voyant-tools.org/) for text exploration — very easy to use and allowing concordances, KWIC and other ways of exploring text. They kindly made all their course materials available online here: http://hermeneuti.ca/workshops/dh12. There are also videos showing how to use the tools here: http://docs.voyant-tools.org/videos/. Voyant is based on the earlier and widely-used text analysis tool Tapor (http://tapor.ca). They pointed out a very good site listing all kinds of text-analysis tools: https://digitalresearchtools.pbworks.com/.

You can find out about many other presentations in the conference program.

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