nodegoat at DH2017

nodegoat Poster at DH2017. Click on the poster to open the vector image in a new window.

With this poster, nodegoat will be present at this year's ADHO DH conference in Montreal, Canada.

We also present a long paper on the iterative data modelling methodology. We'll talk about the benefits of this approach in relation to teaching data modelling and data modelling as a research practice. This presentation is based on the three blog posts we published earlier this year:

More info on the conference session in which we present our paper can be found here. Below you find the slides and abstract of the paper.[....]

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nodegoat API

As a result of our cooperation with nodegoat's institutional partners, we have been able to develop a RESTful API for nodegoat.

The API provides an additional interface to query and store data to your Projects in nodegoat. We have integrated the API with nodegoat's core functionalities and have optimised it for large operations. The API can also be used to update the Data Design, which allows you to update specific attributes of a Type, or upload a whole Data Design with multiple Type templates in one go.

You can use the Project settings to configure what parts of your data are exposed through the API. The API can be configured to require authentication or allow for public access.

Documentation for the API is available via the nodegoat Documentation. To learn how you can query your data to use it in other applications, see: https://nodegoat.gitbooks.io/documentation/content/usage/API/query.html. To learn about storing your data using the API, see: https://nodegoat.gitbooks.io/documentation/content/usage/API/store.html.

In case you want to use the API with your own research data, get in touch!

We have enabled the API for a demo domain. You can access this domain by logging in to nodegoat.net with the username 'demo' and password 'demo'. The following cURL commands give you a JSON package with the information that has been entered on the French intellectual Ernest Renan. You can also click on the URL to view the output in your web browser.

curl 'http://demo.nodegoat.io/project/1/data/type/4/object?search=renan' -X GET


curl 'http://demo.nodegoat.io/ngAQ3A96sAJ3kMmZiAQD3' -X GET


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Iterative Data Modelling

In the past years, we have given various nodegoat workshops to groups of scholars and students. Even though the entry level of the participants varied from workshop to workshop there were similar challenges that emerged every time. These challenges can be grouped into the following three questions:

  1. What is a relational database?
  2. My material is very vague/ambiguous/uncertain/contradictory/unique/special, how can I use this in a database?
  3. How do I use the nodegoat interface?
nodegoat Workshop at the University of Luxembourg.

Since most of the workshops we give are nodegoat-specific, we aim to teach participants how to do data modelling from within the nodegoat interface. Because of this, and as a result of the usual time constraints (often half a day), we have to leave the first two fundamental questions largely untouched. To remedy this, we have written two blog posts in which we aim to cover the first two questions. The third question is being addressed in the nodegoat video tutorials, the FAQ & forum, and in the near future the documentation.[....]

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Formulating Ambiguity in a Database

Photograph of the staff of the International Institute of Bibliography, writing and classifying records

One of the most obvious questions to start with when working with structured data in the humanities is: what is data? Miriam Posner has captured this challenge in the title of her talk on this topic: 'Humanities Data: A Necessary Contradiction'. Oftentimes, scholars think about their research material in terms of nuances, vagueness, uniqueness, whereas data is perceived as binary, strict and repetitive. The realisation that nuances, vagueness, and uniqueness can also be captured by data in a database is something that has to grow over time.

As soon as we start talk about 'data' it is important to keep two things in mind. First, we should be ready to reflect on the fact that data oriented processes can dehumanise data. This process has been described by Scott Weingart in his essay on digitising and storing holocaust survivor stories. Even though we can efficiently organise large collections of data, the implications of this process have to be taken into account.[....]

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