Digital Humanities NYUAD Year in Review 2017

“What exactly has happened to the study of the humanities in the digital age? To answer this question one need only review the last thirty years and remember how scholarship used to be carried out. In order to find books and articles, we had to look through various catalogs (card, National Union) as well as printed bibliographies. Fledgling institutional digital catalogs existed, but hardly contained everything we needed. Few journals offered digital access to publications. A researcher’s data was often stored on a desktop computer, or even just in paper copy on a shelf. At conferences, we arranged photographic slides in a carousel to project them on the wall.

In today’s connected world a stunning variety of virtual, networked resources are now available to researchers: electronic books and other platforms for document delivery, digitized archival collections, new environments for scholarly communication and web publishing, open data repositories, even cloud and high performance computing. Not all humanists are using these resources, but increasing numbers are, and as a result, our scholarly work is taking on a diversity, and creativity, of new forms. The transition to an era of “software intensive” humanities-it is, after all, a slow change-is bringing about new possibilities for trans-disciplinary scholarship. But what are the implications of more machines in our profession? Are we ready to confront the challenges and the results of such research? How many of us actually understand how to navigate these new data-rich environments to our benefit? …”

The rest of the NYU Abu Dhabi Digital Humanities Year in Review 2017 document can be downloaded here.

Semi-Automated Alignment with iTeal

Semi-Automated Alignment of Text Versions with iteal

A half-day tutorial at DH2018, CDMX, Mexico, June 2018

with

Stefan Jänicke  @vizcovery

David Joseph Wrisley  @djwrisley

 

Overview

 

Our half-day tutorial for DH2018 concerns the semi-automated alignment of different witnesses in complex textual traditions, with demonstration of specific use cases, a discussion of the relevance of the implemented system to particular textual problems relevant to the participants as well as a hands on discovery of the system. Alignment is a relatively simple task for modern languages with orthographic stability and relatively similar texts, but when there is a degree of instability of textual transmission as in oral literatures, popular music or poetry, or other complex texts with partial repetition the task becomes more difficult. Whereas methods of hand aligning and visualizing texts exists in TEI, we focus on the possibility of computational alignment for the purpose of exploratory textual visualization. Scholars who are interested in visualizing scaled forms of reading will be interested in this tutorial.

Our visual analytics environment iteal supports the computational alignment of textual similarities and is not English-specific. It was originally implemented using orally inflected medieval French poetic texts (with test cases of the fabliaux and epic) and so is known to work on texts in Latin alphabets with inconsistent orthography.

This half-day tutorial aims at introducing iteal to the DH community for which the questions of multi-text problems, spelling variance and debates about distant forms of reading are currently quite salient. Many language processing and visualization tools do not work well with languages beyond English. Our environment is known to work with languages beyond English will be of interest those interested in expanding innovative techniques in the textual humanities across the North/South divide. Participants of the tutorial will be led in a step-by-step, hands-on approach through the full cycle of an iteal-based text alignment workflow, and they will finally have the opportunity of testing the tool with their own data. Although proven to be effectively useful for text variants of medieval poetry, we will not focus only on this type of text as iteal can be used to determine alignments among texts of a different kind in any language and in multiple genres. Currently, iteal works with plain text in utf8.

 

iteal consists of two major modules:

First, it automatically determines line-to-line alignments pairwise between all given text editions based on user-configurable parameters including:

  • Edit distance: Variant spellings are taken into account by this function. We define two words as spelling variants if they have the same first letter, and if the string similarity of the remaining substrings is higher than a user-configurable threshold.
  • Coverage: In order to ensure that a specific proportion of words of both lines are aligned, the user can configure a minimum coverage value of the line.
  • N-grams: The user can configure the minimum required n-gram size n that is the largest number of subsequent word matches of both lines.
  • Broken n-grams: Quite often, the only difference between two lines is a single word in the middle of a line that is either inserted, synonymous, or a transposed stopword. Large n-grams, from this perspective are not achieved. Thus, we allow the user for considering broken n-grams, which is the total number of word matches among both lines.

Second, for the purpose of analyzing the determined alignment we provide interactive visualizations for different text hierarchy levels (examples for all three views can be found in Figures 1, 2 and 3, and a teaser outlining a brief workflow with iteal can be found at https://vimeo.com/230829975):

  • Distant Reading: In order to get a rough overview of alignment patterns throughout the observed text versions, we draw a miniature representation for each version in the form of a vertical bar reflecting its number of verse lines in contrast to the other shown versions. For us, this is the most distant form of reading, where the text itself is not visualized, but rather abstract depictions of textual similarity point to patterns worth discovering.
  • Meso Reading: Since multiple texts are displayed in synoptic views, the visualization is able to convey more complex patterns of textual relationship. We call this a meso reading that might be said to connect multiple close readings all the while transmitting information that lies beyond the scope of a close reading. Here, we use the intuitivity of stream graphs to connect aligned verse lines among different versions. For a more detailed inspection of an individual alignment, clicking on a stream opens a popup window for line-level close reading.
  • Close Reading: Next to plain text, the close reading view provides word level alignments for the corresponding verse lines in the form of two Variant Graph visualizations. Within the close reading view, individual alignments can be confirmed with user input, so that it gets persistently stored in the backend.

Target audience: Anyone studying variance in the textual digital humanities and its visualization would be interested in our tutorial. It will be offered in English, but can accommodate textual data in a variety of languages. Potential participants in the tutorial are encouraged to be in touch with the presenters in advance of DH2018 to provide some sample data that can used to provide a mashup. Required for this step is a version of at least two documents sharing some text in common, of at least 20 lines. 

 

Schedule #itealDH

 

Part I (1 hour + break time)

iteal introduction: purpose, functionality, configuration, visualization (Stefan Jänicke)

– Medieval French poetry as an iteal use case (David J. Wrisley)

– Further use cases, future work, questions (Stefan Jänicke & David J. Wrisley)

Break

Part II (2 hours – break time)

– Step-by-step hands-on session with texts brought by tutorial participants
– wrap up, feedback and steps forward

 

 

Bios

Stefan Jänicke

Dr. Stefan Jänicke is a post-doctoral researcher at the Image and Signal Processing Group at Leipzig University, Germany, where he leads a text visualization group focusing on applications in the digital humanities. Over the last years, he has gained experience in developing information visualization and visual analytics techniques within a number of digital humanities projects. His PhD thesis investigates the utility of visualization techniques to support the comparative analysis of digital humanities data, and his current research relates to information visualization with a focus on applications for text- and geovisualization in digital humanities.

David Joseph Wrisley

Dr. David Joseph Wrisley is Associate Professor of Digital Humanities at New York University Abu Dhabi. His research interests include the creation of open, inclusive corpora in medieval studies, corpus-based geovisualization as well as visual exploration of variance in poetic traditions. Furthermore, he is interested in the challenges in humanities data stemming from both multilingual environments and social data creation.

 

Related References 

Jänicke, A. Geßner, M. Büchler and G. Scheuermann (2014). Visualizations for Text Re-use. In: Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Information Visualization Theory and Applications (VISIGRAPP 2014), pp 59–70.

Jänicke, A. Geßner, M. Büchler and G. Scheuermann (2014). 5 Design Rules for Visualizing Text Variant Graphs. In: Conference Abstracts of the Digital Humanities 2014.

Jänicke, A. Geßner, G. Franzini, M. Terras, S. Mahony and G. Scheuermann (2015). TRAViz: A Visualization for Variant Graphs. In: Digital Scholarship in the Humanities 30, suppl 1, pp i83–i99.

Jänicke, G. Franzini, M. F. Cheema and G. Scheuermann (2015). On Close and Distant Reading in Digital Humanities: A Survey and Future Challenges. In: Eurographics Conference on Visualization (EuroVis) – STARs. The Eurographics Association.

Jänicke and D. J. Wrisley (2016). Visualizing Mouvance: Towards an Alignment of Medieval Vernacular Text Traditions. In: Conference Abstracts of the Digital Humanities 2016.

Jänicke and D. J. Wrisley (2017). Visualizing Mouvance: Towards a Visual Analysis of Variant Medieval Text Traditions. In: Digital Scholarship in the Humanities 32, suppl 2, pp ii106–ii123.

Jänicke and D. J. Wrisley (2017). Interactive Visual Alignment of Medieval Text Versions. In: IEEE Conference on Visual Analytics Science and Technology, IEEE VAST 2017.

 

 

 

NYU Abu Dhabi Digital Humanities Meetups 2016-17

What is the Digital Humanities Meet Up?  

It is an informal get together for anyone interested in, or just curious about, the digital humanities.  It is co-sponsored by the NYU Abu Dhabi Center for Digital Scholarship and the Division of the Arts and Humanities.  

When will it meet?  

It will meet during the lunchtime hour throughout the Fall and Spring semester every few weeks.  

Who can attend?

Anyone in the NYUAD community or beyond.  The meet up is designed to be a learning experience for all.  No particular technical knowledge is required.

Spring 2017:

Tues, 14 February 2017, 1150-105 C3 118 (Presentation): Mobile Data Collection for Documenting Historical Built Space   Amel Chabbi (TCA Abu Dhabi, Historical Environment Department) will come to speak with AHC-AD 141 Spatial Humanities about a project in the implementation phase that aims to document historical buildings in Abu Dhabi using the tool known as Collector for ArcGIS that facilitates mobile data collection.

Thurs, 23 February 2017, 1150-105, Archives and Special Collections, NYUAD Library C2 3rd floor (Practicum): Digitizing Historical Maps  This hands on session led by Rebecca Pittam, Nicholas Martin and David Wrisley will explore creating digital images of archival maps of different sizes and media for reuse in spatial humanities projects.

Tues, 28 February 2017, 1150-105, C3 118 (Hands-on): Exploring Digital Map Libraries  This session led by Beth Russell and David Wrisley will discuss digital map libraries, what kinds of maps can be found in them, issues of metadata as well as how they can be used in digitized, “georeferenced” form.

Tues, 28 March 2017, 1150-105, Center for Digital Scholarship conference room, NYUAD library (discussion):  What is Web Hosting?, and What is it Doing in the NYUAD Classroom?  This presentation address the use of web hosting in the classroom for written coursework.  It will be presented within the context of the domain of one’s own movement.  We will discuss and the kinds of public, digital, multimedia composition that it enables as well as the questions of audience.  NYUAD students building their own domains will attend and contribute to the discussion.

Mon-Wed, 10-12 April 2017, A6 (Hands-on Workshops) During our international conference Digital Humanities Abu Dhabi – DHAD there will be a number of digital humanities workshops.  These are open to the public, but require registration.  Check the schedule of workshops for updates.  If you would like to sign up for one of these free workshops, you can do so here.

Fall 2016:

Wednesday, 21 September 2016 (11.50am-1.05pm, Center for Digital Scholarship, C2, 3rd floor  PRACTICUM: Demystifying Digitization – This practicum is a part of David Wrisley’s course AHC-AD 139 (Introduction to Digital Humanities) that will be open Wednesday to the NYUAD community. Today’s practicum comes at a point of the semester when students are beginning to think about constructing their own private corpus of text. We will work with one of the best pieces of software for automatic transcription Abbyy FineReader to explore the process of optical character recognition (OCR) of printed texts in multiple languages including Arabic. We will discuss the class readings and do a hands on exercise with a few samples of text.  The exercise should illustrate the benefits and limitations of the digitization for texts of different periods and languages.  Topics of discussion include text archives, the hidden labor of digital texts, as well as digitization and loss.  (This practicum borrows its name from the digital humanities summer school being held in Antwerp next week.)

Monday, 17 October 2016 (1150-105, A6-016)  – UNDERGRADUATE DIGITAL HUMANITIES PRESENTATIONS This session co-led by David Wrisley and the students of his course AHC-AD 139 will feature low-barrier data visualization of textual corpora.  Students will each have built a small corpus in the language of their choice based on a research question they have.  They will be giving lightning presentations about their “distant readings” of this corpus.  These presentations, curated on the students’ sites, will be accompanied by general discussion.  

Wednesday, 23 November 2016 (1150-105, Center for Digital Scholarship, C2, 3rd floor) HANDS-ON LEARNING ABOUT GIS. To celebrate GIS Day 2016, come learn about Geographic Information Systems (GIS) with Matt Sumner and David Wrisley.  We will take a look at some maps made around the time of the unification of the UAE in the early 1970s and we will learn some basic skills useful for GIS like digitization and georeferencing.  We will also compare those maps with digital maps from today like Open Street Maps (OSM) and Google Maps and have a discussion about the different ways they represent the world we live in.  Read this post to learn about the results of this meetup.

Monday, 28 November 2016 (12-1, Center for Digital Scholarship conference room, C2, 3rd floor) – PROJECT PRESENTATION Akkasah.  Akkasah, the Center for Photography at NYU Abu Dhabi, explores the histories and contemporary practices of photography in the Arab world from comparative perspectives: it fosters the scholarly study of these histories and practices in dialogue with other photographic cultures and traditions from around the world. This presentation will engage with issues of image data and metadata, as well as digitization, preservation and collection curation.

Monday, 5 December 2016 (1150-105, TBA) – DIGITAL PUBLISHING IN PERFORMANCE AND ART  Today’s presentation will be given by Debra Levine about Scalar, Tome and other digital publishing platforms used by performance and cultural scholars as well as artists.  Deb will also introduce the Hemispheric Institute Digital Publishing initiative, drawing on some examples from it, her own work as well as projects carried out by NYUAD students.  The presentation will be followed by a open discussion.

 

 

 

How did you make that (digital) literary geography?

How did you make that (digital) literary geography?
@DJWrisley
American University of Beirut
24 November 2015

 

At the invitation by IT academic services and the Center for Teaching and Learning at AUB, this short presentation will give an overview of some digital approaches to location-based literary phenomena (sociology of literature, modeling narrative, digital storytelling, map-text relationships, etc).

Outline of the presentation:

1  Introduction

Tomorrow’s Teaching and Learning (circulated by CTL, 19 Nov) – higher order thinking skills, spatial literacies, interdisciplinary co-learning, making critical arguments in a variety of formats, open geographic data, modeling data
Moretti’s Atlas of European Novel vs. national literary geographies (Ferre, Bartholomew, de Oliviera)
Miriam Posner’s blog How did they make that?
DHCommons Journal “How Did They Make That?” issue 1
GeoHumanities gallery Humanities GIS
starter bibliography
related workshop– Cairo October 2015 (with hands on component, not all literary)

pieces of a spatial project: locations, geographic coordinates, other relevant metadata, projection system, database, base maps, APIs

2  Advanced non-literary examples (born-digital data)

Obesity map @kyle_e_walker
What: visualization of open data about obesity in the US
How: fetching data on obesity from CDC, programming language R, processing data, pushing automatically to cloud web mapping (CartoDB), “abstract” base map

Wimbledon 2014
What: A map of tweets during Wimbledon final match
How: twitter mining, cloud hosting and visualization using torque (CartoDB)

2  (Mostly hand curated, non-born digital data) Examples from literature and culture

Pre-modern Spanish literature @RojasCastroA
What: A map of places mentioned in Spanish Golden Age works by Gongora.
How:  manual extraction and geoparsing,cloud hosting of data, use of color, unlabelled political map, info box containing snippets of text,web mapping (CartoDB), open data

Roman de la violette (vers vs prose) @DJWrisley
What:  mentions of places in a 13th c verse text and its 15th prose rewriting
How: manual extraction and geoparsing,cloud hosting of data, contrasting color and shape, unlabeled satellite view, web mapping (Google Maps), open data

French epic space-time choropleth vs torque @DJWrisley
What: mentions of places in a corpus of medieval French epic poems by date of composition
How: manual extraction and geoparsing, cloud hosting of data, unlabelled political map, web mapping and animation (CartoDB), open data

Exploring Place in the French of Italy @MVSTFordham @DJWrisley
What: exhibit built around mention of places in a corpus of medieval French texts composed in Italy, individual maps, weighted by place, composite map and essays
How: semi-manual extraction, geoparsing and counting, cloud hosting of data, embedded maps in Omeka (from CartoDB), open data

Dislocating Ulysses
What: locating objects from an exhibit about Ulysses within their geospatial context and historical context within Dublin
How: manual geoparsing, hosted in Google Earth (here viewed as video capture)

Slave Revolt in Jamaica, 1760
What: animated thematic map of Jamaica slave insurrection
How: manual extraction and geoparsing?, listed archival sources, “locational database”, historical base map, animation, timeline, Leaflet

Grub Street Project
What: “a digital edition of eighteenth-century London”, “both a real place and an abstract idea”
How: digital edition in TEI linked to map, manual extraction and geoparsing, web mapping, custom interface

Life of Maya Angelou
What: digital storytelling of places important across time for the life of Maya Angelou
How: manual extraction and geoparsing, Odyssey.js, cloud hosting of data, Markdown

Bruce Chatwin’s Utz vs Vichy
What: contrast of two novels by Chatwin and different narratological modes
How: ArcGIS?, fuzzy spaces as dispersion, color, not web mapping (static images)

Interactive Ibn Jubayr
What: a set of interactive exhibits from a class on Ibn Jubayr
How: manual extraction and geoparsing, Omeka, Neatline

Atlantic Networks Project
What: visualizations of data from the “logbooks of the merchant vessels that participated in an Atlantic commodity network”
How: manual extraction of data, ArcGIS, web mapping (ArcGIS), semi-open data

Mapping the Lakes: A Literary GIS
What: an exploration of the places mentioned in Gray’s and Coleridge’s accounts of the Lake District, the emotions expressed in them
How: semi-manual extraction of data, ArcGIS?, not web mapping (static images) and Google Earth kmz download, semi-open data

Visualizing Medieval Places in Time @DJWrisley
What: mention of real places in medieval French literature by date of composition
How: semi-manual extraction of data, cloud hosting of data, third-party hosting of map, custom time slider written in Java

ReNom (Ronsard vs Rabelais)
What: Database, map visualization, people & places (real, mythical, imaginary) of two French authors
How: semi-automatic extraction of data, Drupal, filterable interface, web mapping and text interconnected

Rai’tu Ramallah @Randa_DH
What:  A visualization of the places mentioned in Barghouti’s novel about Palestine, contrasting places visited and not visited (created in Fall 2013 Intro to DH seminar)–other student projects here
How: manual extraction and geoparsing, color, web mapping (Google Maps), open data

Beirut publishes…  @DJWrisley
What: A thick map of the Lebanese publishing industry over the last century (under construction, course project)
How: Manual extraction from archival materials, cloud database, mobile data collection, web scraping of publication metadata, open dataset to be published (GitHub and Zenodo with DOI)

LOTR
What: Project quantifying and visualizing the Lord of the Rings, map, timelines
How:  Grid built based on Tolkien’s map, image coordinate system, “infographics”, timelines

“Where are you in Beirut?”  @DJWrisley and ENGL 229
What: A response to Mapping a City without Street Names, visualizing crowd conceptions of location in Beirut
How: human-created data by-product of Mapping Language Contact in Beirut, data field in mobile data collection application (Fulcrum), cloud live hookup, web mapping (CartoDB)

“What do you tell the taxi to get where you are in Beirut?”
What: Another response to Mapping a City without Street Names, visualizing crowd conceptions of closest place for public transport mobility
How: human-created data by-product of Mapping Language Contact in Beirut, data field in mobile data collection application (Fulcrum), cloud hookup, web mapping (CartoDB)

3  Discussion

CFP Digital Humanities Institute – Beirut 2016

Call for Papers/Proposals for Mini-courses DHI-B 2016

Digital Humanities Institute – Beirut
Beirut, Lebanon
18-22 January 2016

Proposals are now being accepted for presentations at a half-day colloquium and for 2-hour/4-hour mini-courses.  Both the half-day colloquium and the mini-courses will take place during the 2nd Digital Humanities Institute Beirut at the American University of Beirut (18-22 January 2016).

The colloquium will be a public event, open to the local academic community. Mini-courses will only be open to participants in DHI-B and will be required for those seeking a certificate of participation.

  1.  Presentations: The colloquium is an opportunity to present digital research and projects in all stages of development for community feedback. Proposals for presentations should range from 250 to 400 words and include any relevant visuals. We are particularly interested in topics related to the Arab world (Arabic language and literature, Arab diasporic studies, Arab-American studies, mapping MENA, Arabic corpora), but any subject related to the wider Digital Humanities is welcome.  Submissions will be accepted from all levels of participants: students, instructional technology, librarians, alt-academics, staff, independent researchers and faculty.  Presenters should plan for speaking a maximum of 15 minutes with ample time for collective discussion.  Only presenters in attendance at the DHI-B will be allowed to present.  Proposals will be accepted for presentations in English, Arabic and French.
  2.  Mini-courses: In addition to the week-long workshop in which each participant is enrolled, there will be another opportunity to acquire digital humanities skills and knowledge.  The mini-courses will be in the form of one 4-hour session or two 2-hour sessions offered over two separate afternoons. These mini-courses should be thought of a crash course for total beginners and they should include some hands-on with focus on a specific digital humanities-related concept, skill or tool.  Ideas we have for this already include a quick introduction to mobile game development, WordPress for course development, an introduction to LaTeX, a fast introduction to stylometry, learning how to use an API.  Proposals for mini-courses should range from 500-750 words.  Please be specific in your proposal about what format you would like (2 or 4 hours), what kind of space you require and provide us with a preliminary course outline.  Proposals will be accepted for mini-course to offered in English, Arabic and French.

Please submit proposals by 1 November by 11:59pm (GMT+3) to dhibeirut@gmail.com.  The program committee of DHI-B will review the submission and notify authors by 15 November 2015.

For more information, contact David Wrisley dw04 (at) aub (dot) edu (dot) lb or dhibeirut@gmail.com.