nodegoat as an Interactive Museum Installation: 20.000 letters visualised through time and space

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The installation is located in the first section of the permanent exhibition. The wooden table has a cut-out (elevated) map of Europe as its surface. The visualisation is projected by a Barco F35 projector (WQXGA resolution). Visitors can interact with the installation by means of capacitive sensors.

We have developed an interactive installation for the new GRIMMWELT museum in Kassel, Germany. The installation visualises and lets visitors freely interact with the full correspondence network of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, involving a total of 20.000 letters and 1400 correspondence partners in a timespan of 80 years. The dataset of letters has been created by the Arbeitsstelle Grimm-Briefwechsel at the Institut für deutsche Literatur of the  Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. We have developed the visualisation in cooperation with SPIN: Study Platform on Interlocking Nationalisms at the University of Amsterdam.

The installation implements a new geographical visualisation mode 'Movement' in nodegoat, in addition to the already available line-based 'Connection' mode. The Movement mode uses WebGL rendering (GPU) to animate large collections of objects smoothly. This mode also allows for a wide range of configuration parameters to finetune the visualisation to various scenarios. Due to the open and generic nature of nodegoat, we can now make use of the Movement mode for any other relevant dataset.

This short clip shows the new visualisation mode from within nodegoat:

A high resolution 1440p version of this clip is available here.

We will talk about the development of this installation at the Virtual Heritage Network Ireland Conference, 20-22 November 2015.

The design of the installation follows the exhibition design of Holzer Kobler Architekturen. Full resolution of this image can be found here

The GRIMMWELT museum in Kassel is located in a park in the Weinberg area near the center of the city. The building was designed by kadawittfeldarchitektur.


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Niall O'Leary

This is a fascinating development particularly given the subject matter.  The Grimm Brothers' material is such a part of our culture.  For what it's worth I have developed something similar for other historical letter collections, a site called Visual Correspondence (  It might be of interest.