Historical Data 

Case Study


Cindy A. Nguyen
UC Berkeley, History Ph.D. Student
@cindyanguyen

Goals


  • Data and quantitative methods
  • structural processes of history rather than heavily cultural analysis and close readings
  • meaning beyond specific doctoral project (also in flux)
  • exposure to new tools
  • DH in field of Vietnamese studies
  • (context of long -distance learning and DH in a new program)

Stage 0


  • 5-7 hours each week

  • readings, research, tools

  • ~2 weeks of coterminous processes of

  1. conceptualizing project
  2. possibility logistically

    Stage 0 (still...)

    Lessons from Tedious Data Entry

    • historical trends
      • organizational understanding of newspapers
      • newspapers in Thailand, China, prisons, secret
    • subjective data of source
    • data & metadata
      • static and variability of journalistic data
      • epistemological questions, data as fact?
      • excel and language skills

    Stage 1: Challenges & Tools

    • Language
      • Ghostscript + Tesseract + VietOCR
      • Vietnamese font into Unicode
    • Data
      • Microsoft Excel
      • Open Refine 
    • Visualization
      • Tabula
      • Manyeyes
      • Quadrigram
      • Timeline.js

    Stage 1: Challenges & Tools

    • Geospatial
      • QGIS
      • Mapbox & Tilemill
      • Google script for geocoding
      • CartoDB
    • Networks
      • Gephi
    • Miscellaneous
      • Scrivener
      • Microsoft Word
      • Slid.es

    Stage 2: Possible Directions

    • Network Visualization people-->publications-->place
    • Locational representation of data on cities-->publications
    • Geo-spatial Visualization of Saigon/Hanoi distributors

    Stage 3: Outcomes

    Tables & Charts



    Stage 3: Outcomes

    (look at file)

    (close reading of viz)

    Viz Outcomes

    • searchable
    • over 500 people connected to publications
    • can assume how things were, not necessarily what they were not

    Viz Limitations

    • one data source
      • should have more connections
      • potential subjectiveness
      • size of circle (nodes) measure degree of edges can be misleading 
    • so what?

    Other Directions

    • attempt to place node groups on map Tilemill +  mapbox + finding period map

    Project Conclusions

    • long distance reading of larger data sets + categorization (fuzzy data)
    • subjectiveness of categorization, subjectiveness of source
    • Gephi & Network Maps
      • not all data sets should be a network map
      • visualization as a REPRESENTATION of something we already/might know
      • when can viz's reveal 'what we don't know?'
        • methodological closeness with large sets of data force us to question how the data is recorded (Padua case)

    Future

    • mores sources & the need for automation
      • grant application for undergraduate research assistant
      • expand decisions documentation
    • open source data
      • collaboration with compilers (can also help with copyright/intellectual property issues)
      • contributions from other scholars
      • collaboration with French & Vietnamese archives and libraries

    UMEDH Historical Data

    By Cindy A. Nguyen

    UMEDH Historical Data

    • 697
    Loading comments...

    More from Cindy A. Nguyen