Visualization and Digital History: Techniques and Demonstrations

AHA Session 149
Association for Computers and the Humanities 3
Saturday, January 3, 2015: 2:30 PM-4:30 PM
Beekman Parlor (New York Hilton, Second Floor)
William G. Thomas III, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Jan Reiff, University of California, Los Angeles

Session Abstract

This session will explore the spatial and visual turn in digital history. Working with new technologies of geographic information systems, data mining, and computational linguistics, historians have begun to explore ways of representing large, complex historical phenomena. Coalescing around the concepts of "spatial history" and "spatial humanities," scholars from diverse disciplines have inquired into the meaning and construction of place, the ways in which power inhered in spatial relations, and the relationship of space and time. Historians have assessed the spatiality of societies at both the microcosmic scale of daily life and the macrocosmic scale of capitalism and the flows of trade, commerce, knowledge, and people. Broadly, "the spatial turn" has coincided with the emergence of powerful digital tools for spatial analysis and visualization. With these technologies in hand, the scholars on this panel reexamine the concept of the historical atlas, the underpinnings of state authority to map certain kinds of information, and the embedded nature of spatial data in historical sources. This roundtable panel will feature leading research projects that use spatial and visual presentation and assess the ways visualization affect historical interpretation and analysis.

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