Data Publication by the MapModern Project

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The MapModern project at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) which focuses on cross-border literary networks and cultural mediators in the hispanic world between 1908 and 1939, has recently published a dataset on translations and reviews in hispanic modernist journals. This dataset has been created in their nodegoat database and currently includes all translations or reviews from La Revista (Barcelona) from 1915 to 1936; the second period of Proa (Buenos Aires) from 1924 to 1926, and Sur (Buenos Aires) from 1931 to 1939. More data from Iberoamerican journals will be added in the future.

Laura Fólica and Ventsislav Ikoff have collected the data, Diana Roig Sanz is the PI of this project. With the help of the staff of the UOC library, the dataset has been made Dublin Core compliant. The dataset can be downloaded from the data repository of the UOC: http://hdl.handle.net/10609/86485, or from the EUDAT Collaborative Data Infrastructure which has assigned the dataset with a DOI: 10.23728/b2share.eb5c468d3dc3401c8b2fb4605d868a00. The suggested citation is: Translations and Reviews in Iberoamerican Modernist Periodicals (dataset) by Fólica, Laura; Ikoff, Ventsislav; Roig Sanz, Diana; Dec 12, 2018.[....]

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nodegoat Products

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Interactive nodegoat installation at the GRIMMWELT museum in Kassel. Photo: Harry Soremski.

Since nodegoat's conception in 2011 by LAB1100, in collaboration with Joep Leerssen of the University of Amsterdam, our web-based research environment is used in various configurations by individual scholars as well as by large scale collaborative research projects.

The first project that started to use nodegoat was the Study Platform on Interlocking Nationalisms for their Encyclopedia of Romantic Nationalism in Europe in 2011. Since then it has been used by over twenty institutional projects and we have provided over a thousand individual scholars with access to a free personal research environment on nodegoat.net. The institutional projects are hosted on a server of the institute, and are offered in combination with training, workshops, and support. The individual accounts are hosted on our own server, located in The Hague, The Netherlands.

Due to the flexibility of nodegoat, it can be used for a wide range of different kinds of research projects. This means that there is rarely only one project at a university or research institute that wants to use nodegoat as their primary tool of research. To be able to facilitate these multi-project configurations, we have been offering various installation packages and service level agreements in the past years. To streamline our services we have formalised these packages in three different nodegoat products: nodegoat One, nodegoat Grow, and nodegoat Go.

nodegoat One is suitable for institutes that want to run a single nodegoat project. nodegoat Grow is suitable for institutes that want to run a specific amount of nodegoat projects that each have their own database. nodegoat Go is suitable for institutes that want to offer any amount of nodegoat research environments to their staff and students.[....]

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nodegoat Open-Source

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Work on nodegoat started in October 2011 when Joep Leerssen approached Pim van Bree and Geert Kessels to develop a visualisation of a set of historical letters. The first version of this visualisation was a diachronic spatial data visualisation built in JavaScript. This visualisation still runs at http://projects.lab1100.com/labmap/.

Based on this project, Pim van Bree and Geert Kessels founded the company LAB1100 to continue to work on data related topics within the realm of the humanities.

Since 2011 LAB1100 has developed an online research environment that is able to host research data as well as provide various modes of analysis and visualisation. This online research environment was initially called the 'Chrono Spatial Research Platform'. In 2013 its name changed to nodegoat (which is now a registered trademark in the EU and US).

From 2012 onwards, free individual hosted accounts have been provided to scholars who want to use nodegoat to host, analyse, and visualise their data. These accounts can be requested here. We currently provide over a thousand of individual scholars with a free personal research account. You can explore a number of use cases here.[....]

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nodegoat at DH2017

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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

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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 Model, which allows you to update specific attributes of a Type, or upload a whole data Model 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

or

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

output:[....]

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Iterative Data Modelling

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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

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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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What is a Relational Database?

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Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library. Room 100, including card catalogs

At a certain moment in your research process, you might decide that you need to order your material in a structured format. A reason could be that there are too many different people in your body of research and it's becoming hard to keep track of them, let alone their different attributes. Another reason could be that you have repetitive sources, like letters or books, that you want to store and include in your analysis.

In the old days, you would get yourself a card catalogue and start reworking your notes onto these little handy cards.[....]

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Geographic visualisation of biographies of scholars. Tobias Winnerling (Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf), project: "Wer Wissen schafft. Gelehrter Nachruhm und Vergessenheit 1700 – 2015".

Social Network Graph of the network around Dutch engineer Cornelis Meijer. Project: "Mapping Notes and Nodes in Networks".