Release of nodegoat 7.3

CORE Admin

The release of nodegoat 7.3 comes with a set of new features that have been developed in collaboration with various projects and institutes.

Repertorium Academicum Germanicum: Vague and Complex Dates

The Repertorium Academicum Germanicum (RAG) at the University of Bern has commissioned a major overhaul of the nodegoat dating functionality. With this development process, the core of nodegoat's date handling processes have been rewritten to account for date statements that are uncertain/cyclical/relational. These statements can be expressed using 'ChronoJSON' notation, to allow for a clean and understandable description of complex date statement. We used the EDTF format as a starting point for this development process, but had to conclude that this format was not equipped to make relational date statements or include custom periodisations (like 'Sommersemester').

With these new features nodegoat users can now make statements like 'letter X was sent two months after letter Y and two months before letter Z', or 'Person A graduated on one day two years before 1498 and two years after 1498'.

These features are completely integrated into all nodegoat's functionalities. This means that you can create complex filters that use relational or vague date statements, include these levels of vagueness in your visualisation, and make selections of data based on vague dates to perform network analytical calculations.

Ghent Center for Digital Humanities: Import Features

The Ghent Center for Digital Humanities has commissioned a number of features to further extend the functionalities of the nodegoat import module. Users can now specify storage rules for each column of a CSV file. This allows you to decide whether data that will be stored in nodegoat should be overwritten, appended, or ignored. It is now also possible to generate logs of an import run. These logs provide information about the actions that have been taken related to the specified overwrite, append, or ignore rules and give information about errors should they have occurred.

Study Platform on Interlocking Nationalisms: Project Management & Bibliographic Features

The Study Platform on Interlocking Nationalisms (SPIN) at the University of Amsterdam commissioned a feature that will make nodegoat better equipped for usage in crowdsourcing projects. With this feature, database administrators can specify help texts to give users hints on how data can best be entered. Each field that can be defined in nodegoat, can be supplied with a help text. Help texts can also be added to a Type or Classification so users can be presented with a general overview of the kind of data that will be stored in a Type or Classification.

SPIN also commissioned a number of features that will make it easier to store and present bibliographic data in nodegoat. Users can now change the order of multi-value Descriptions to be able to store the correct order in which authors have been listed in a publication. We also added the option to change the separation character for multi-value Descriptions, which gives users the freedom to change the comma separation character to any other character (e.g. '🐐'). In order to meet the needs of the wide variety of citation stylesheets, we have added the support for regular expressions in the Conditions functionality. This feature extends the conditional formatting options in nodegoat to be able to change the order of author names, based on the kind of publication, for example.

Feedback

Over the last few months we have received valuable feedback from researchers at the University of Padua who use nodegoat to map the 800 year history of their university. Their team currently enters alumni from various periods to their nodegoat database, who are then categorised based on their study and work. In this process they have the challenge to curate new and existing categories. Even though nodegoat has a version control functionality that allows you to track changes, it would be much easier to disallow addition of new categories or objects in specific Classifications or Types (i.e. to have a controlled vocabulary). To satisfy this need, we have added an option in the Data Model to set a specific minimal clearance for users to be able to add or edit Objects in a Type. We also added an option in the Project Management to state whether users can add or edit Objects to a certain Type in a Project.

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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".