Data Visualisation Event at QUB – March 5-6, 2015

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Data Visualization for the Arts and Humanities

5 – 6 March, Queen’s University Belfast

The Digital Arts and Humanities (DAH) structured PhD programme in collaboration with the Digital Humanities Research Group at the Institute for Collaborative Research in the Humanities and the AHRC-funded project “Visualising European Crime Fiction”, are hosting a two-day ‘Data Visualisation for the Arts and Humanities’ event at QUB, 5-6 March 2015.

This two-day event includes hands on workshops and invited speakers who will address practical as well as theoretical features of data visualisation. Through this mix of practice and theory we hope to provide participants with a comprehensive introduction to the potentialities of applying this approach to research in the Arts and the Humanities.

THURSDAY, MARCH 5 – Morning: Plenary sessions

10.15 – 10.30 Welcome by Prof. John Thompson (Institute for Collaborative Research in the Humanities)

10.30 – 11.30   ‘Data visualization: hype or hope? …and four other stories on DH and data viz’, Dr. Clément Levallois (EMLYON Business Scholl)

Dr. Clément Levallois is Assistant Professor at EMLYON Business School. Trained as an economist and historian of science with a PhD on the relationships between economics and biology in post-WWII USA, he shifted to computational methods to study the emergence of neuroeconomics using scientometric data. His current research projects involve Twitter data, text mining and network visualizations. A member of the open source project Gephi, he promotes open access with the @Libraccess initiative.

11: 30 – 12.00 Coffee break

12.00 – 13.00 – “Humanities Visualisation: Data Lies and Data Performances”, Dr. Marc Alexander (University of Glasgow)

Glasgow, and his work primarily focuses on digital humanities and the study of meaning in English. He is Director of the Historical Thesaurus of English, and mainly works on applications of the Thesaurus in digital humanities, most recently through the AHRC/ESRC-funded SAMUELS, Mapping Metaphor, and The Linguistic DNA of Modern Thought projects. Other than this, he works on the JISC-funded Hansard Corpus 1803-2003, a 2+ billion word corpus of political discourse over the past two centuries, and is Director of the STELLA Digital Humanities lab at Glasgow.

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch

THURSDAY, MARCH 5 – Afternoon session (14.00 – 17.30)and FRIDAY, MARCH 6 (10.00 – 15.30) Parallel Workshops

1. ‘Data Visualisation and Digital Art’ with Dr. Pip Shea (DH research group, Queen’s University Belfast):

This workshop is for artist-researchers who are interested in investigating the politics, ethics, and practices of data visualisation. We will explore and critique different vectors of data art to develop a deeper understanding of what might be achieved by visualising unseen relations. Participants will be encouraged to fix a critical lens to their own visualisation processes by acknowledging the biases of datasets, the power dynamics embedded in data infrastructures, and the responsibilities attached to using visualisation as a form of measurement, analysis, or art making.

2. ‘Data-mining the Semantic Web and spatially visualising the results’ with Frank Lynam and Vinayak Das Gupta (DAH PhD candidates)

This workshop presents a classic digital humanities project. It will show how a researcher might go about data-mining a Semantic Web resource and then representing the results of this exercise using spatial visualisation techniques. The workshop is broken into two separate learning units. The first introduces the topics of Linked Data and the Semantic Web from the perspective of a data consumer. The user will become familiar with data encoding formats such as RDF, the Linked Data querying language SPARQL and the data cleaning platform OpenRefine. The second half of the workshop will build an annotated map using the Javascript library Leaflet. The spatial data extracted in the first part of the workshop will be used to create these annotations. The exercise will familiarize participants with map tiles and GeoJSON layers, and will illustrate the means to build a simple map using HTML, CSS and Javascript.

3. ‘Introduction to Data Visualization in the Humanities: Palladio, Gephi and QuantumGIS’ with Christoph Kudella (DAH PhD candidate) – CANCELLED

Data Visualization can be identified as one of the formative characteristics of DH projects around the globe. The representation of geospatial and/or relational features of humanities data in the form of maps and network charts can be a key element of one’s own research, but also has a huge potential in terms of public engagement. Acquiring the skills to produce these kinds of data visualizations is the aim of this workshop. Working with three popular data viz solutions – Palladio, Gephi and QuantumGIS – we will explore the strengths and weaknesses of each tool and develop custom workflows that suit humanities research.

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