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Information Visualizations and Interfaces in the Humanities

Chapter

Abstract

For the last few years , computers and the Internet have been changing the way research is conceived, conducted, and communicated, transforming scholarly publication and collaboration, and supporting the creation, the storage, the analysis, and the dissemination of data and information. While natural, medical, and social sciences have a long and established tradition with these technologies, most of the humanities disciplines have found it difficult if not impossible to integrate computational tools, based mostly on quantitative approaches, with their research methods. In the last 20 years however, new research areas and activities have emerged from the intersection between humanities and computing. Today, what is known as digital humanities represents a heterogeneous set of studies and practices that aims at understanding the implications and the opportunities that digital technologies can provide as media, tools, or objects of study in the humanities (Schreibman et al. in A companion to digital humanities. Blackwell, Oxford, 2004; Gold in Debates in the digital humanities. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 2012; Berry in Understanding digital humanities. Palgrave Macmillan , New York, 2012). These new relationships between the digital and the humanities are rapidly demanding for new modes of observation and interpretation. Information visualizations and interfaces appear as essential tools to explore and make sense out of big and heterogeneous amounts of data (Manovich 2013). But, in a context where most of the methods and the technologies are still adopted from other disciplines, the biggest challenge seems to be imagining new genuine research tools capable of embedding and valorizing the humanities endeavor (Drucker in Culture Machine 12:1–20, 2011). The work presented here aims at deepening the relationships between designers, humanities scholars, and computer scientists through the outlining of new research tools and processes based on humanistic data and digital environments. Furthermore, it explores the possibilities and challenges set forth by information and data visualizations as tools to support scholarly activities.

Keywords

Digital Technology Humanity Scholar Information Visualization Communication Designer Digital Tool 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Politecnico di MilanoMilanItaly
  2. 2.Stanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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