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PROPOSAL: Best practices for structuring and visualizing research data

This session is happening! Sunday, 11:00 am – 12:15 pm, Room 92. If you’re interested, please (please please please) read and comment on the Googledocs draft session structure!!!

There are a number of ongoing projects that center around structuring, storing, sharing and visualizing data within the humanities, ranging from well-known tools such as Zotero to brand new tools stemming from recent grants that are still being prototyped. These efforts create lots of opportunities, and sharing data between these tools and initiatives benefits the whole DH community. However, designing for and implementing data structures that support this kind of sharing adds a different kind of complexity.

The question is, then, how do think about structuring, organizing, and sharing our data going forward so that our structures are both flexible enough to hook into when we build new tools but structured enough that the data sets would talk to each other? How do we tie together different kinds of data sets (for example, but not limited to: GIS, citation management, prosopography, timeline and event tracking, etc.) in a way that works across several disciplines? How do we structure the data so it integrates well with visualization tools? What are the benefits, costs, and challenges of an undertaking of this kind?

If we break it down even further, we can ask more granular questions about the data we collect when we do research. What kinds of data sets do you have? What kinds of data show up in those sets? What kinds of relationships do you want to analyze between those different kinds of data? How do these questions change (or stay the same) across disciplines?

While it’s not easy to answer questions of this scope in a single session, THATCamp’s unconference format seems like the ideal place to start!

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