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Tag: visualizations

Bruno Latour

[This post is a reading reflection written for UNL’s Digital Humanities Seminar. This week’s reading was Bruno Latour’s Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory.] Something tells me Bruno Latour would not like the analysis of “social networks” in my research. Latour breaks down both “social” and “networks,” as well as several other terms in a useful theoretical book. However, I find his deconstructions only partially useful, as his theoretical arguments do not always seem practical. In order for Latour’s reassemblage of the social to have significance, he must first object to the current definitions of social. Though he might…

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Spatial History

[This post is a reading reflection written for UNL’s Digital Humanities Seminar. This week’s readings were Richard White, “What is Spatial History?, David Staley’s “Historical Visualizations,” and Phil Ethington’s Los Angeles and the Problem of Urban Historical Knowledge] Of all the the subfields of history, spatial history benefits most from the emergence of digital tools. As Richard White humbly points out, the spatial turn in history is a turn and not a discovery. Historians, he mentions William Cronon and Fernand Braudel in particular, have used spatial analysis in works before long before the emergence of the digital humanities. In fact,…


The Humanities, the Laboratory and “Culturomics”

[This post is the first of many reading reflections written for UNL’s Digital Humanities Seminar. I will be posting my reflections each week. Jason Heppler and William Thomas will also be blogging about the class. This week the readings were Reinventing Knowledge and “As We May Think.”] Predicting the future is, unsurprisingly, difficult. Writing in the mid-twentieth century, Vannevar Bush describes a future machine, the “memex,” which congregates, organizes, and dispenses information that bears remarkable similarities to the current technology. Writing over sixty years later, Ian McNeely looks backwards more so than forwards, though he seems comfortable projecting the laboratory’s…

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Spatializing GR

I am currently coming down the home stretch for my MA thesis and it has been keeping me quite busy. My thesis work actually made me miss a blog post last week (I am sure people were heartbroken). This week as a sort of compromise with myself I am posting an excerpt. Granted, this is a very rough section of the second draft of my first chapter. In my digital project I added a spatial element to my research, something I have continued in my work. The excerpt below is the base layer of an introduction to the city’s elite.…


The Corrupt Network

Last week, I turned in my project for my digital history seminar. What I hope is evident from my design, I used this course to play with an idea of investigating “Facebook friends” in the past. “Facebook friends” is a modern term that can describe relationships ranging from life long friendships and one time acquaintances. Though Facebook and the term “Facebook friends” are modern things, social networks are nothing new. Examining social networks of the past provides context for events, like the political scandal on which my thesis is based. My digital project is meant to visualize some of the…

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Open Source Scholarship

A couple of weeks ago, Bethany Nowviskie visited UNL and talked about adapting the model of “skunkworks” to producing research and development. While her talk included many great insights as well as the most entertaining slides I have ever seen in an academic speech, one part of my notes from the talk really jumped out to me. I wrote: “scholars used to hiding work until polished–> bad for open source collaboration,” which seems to me to be a great insight into academic production of scholarship. When debating whether or not to start a blog, I found that I too had…



PBS: TileMill is a modern map design studio that lets you design maps for the web using your own data or any publicly available data set. What makes TileMill unique is that it allows anyone who understands the idea behind CSS in web design to quickly and easily design custom maps.

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Mapping the NBA

Deadspin: You all know the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game. Some of you may even be familiar with the Erdős number, which uses authorship of math papers to measure the “collaborative distance” between a person and the mathematician Paul Erdős. I applied this same type of thinking to sports and went looking for the Center of the NBA Universe. You can also play around with the project

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