Use Cases

Explore how nodegoat is used in various projects.

FORMAL. Mapping Fountains over Time and Place

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Geographic visualisation of the mapped fountains in Naples.
FORMAL aims to trace the shape of public water distribution in the city of Naples over the centuries.
Pamela Palomba and Emanuele Garzia (università degli Studi Suor Orsola Benincasa di Napoli)

As part of a research project on cultural heritage we were looking for a tool that would be able to structure the information on the monuments we were studying, both spatially and chronologically, to link them together in a cross-referenced way and thus obtain new insights into the history of urban transformation.

The city and its architectural evolution gather a vast set of information connecting different fields of research: digital humanities, spatial humanities and cultural heritage. FORMAL Mapping Fountain over time and place aims to trace the shape of public water distribution in the city of Naples over the centuries. The project uses nodegoat to map the movement of monumental fountains in time and space.

The objectives were essentially two: on the one hand, to catalogue and order the study material collected and systematize it through the production of personal and multimedia cards describing the characteristics of each fountain; on the other hand, to obtain for each object the geographical visualization of its position in space and time with the tracking of its movement from one place to another in different historical periods.

nodegoat has made it possible to create a fully customized database, even if we are not experienced users, and perfectly suited to our research needs. Data modelling in the humanities is widely perceived as an epistemological process, rather than an ontological process, and we have verified that the database application interface can create new opportunities or create new challenges.

The research project was conducted by researchers from the Interdepartmental Research and Design Centre of Ateneo Scienza Nuova as part of the PhD in Humanities "Humanities and Technologies: an integrated research path" at the University of Suor Orsola Benincasa, Naples.

Public User Interface: http://personal-research-domain-garziaems.nodegoat.net/

One Object of a mapped fountain.
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Visualizing Early Nineteenth-Century Foreign Commercial Activity at Pernambuco

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Social visualization of 350 business letters sent by a foreign commission house in northeastern Brazil, 1810-1811, showing 798 nodes and 1,343 links among senders, recipients, and third parties mentioned in the correspondence, including their associations with specific vessels.
Research project that documents the evolution of transnational merchant networks over time and space between the 17th and 19th centuries.
Laura Jarnagin Pang (Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado, USA)
I am a retired history professor who now has the amount of time to devote to research that I always craved. When I first discovered nodegoat, I didn't even know what a relational database was. I just knew that I had always dreamed of finding a way to visualize the complexities of all sorts of relationships found within extensive networks of merchants, which are the focus of my research. The nodegoat visualization samples I saw convinced me I had found the perfect medium for doing that.

My overarching research interest involves documenting the evolution of certain transnational merchant networks over time and space between roughly the latter 17th and mid 19th centuries. The many types of data this subject matter generates lend themselves to a variety of visualization opportunities. Both our perception and documentation of networks and networking can be significantly enhanced through visualizations of large amounts of data that go beyond what the written word alone can convey. Similarly, the scope, patterns, and evolution of transnational trade can be grasped quickly with geographical visualizations.

For my first nodegoat project, I focused on a subset of my research data, namely, an extensive collection of business records of an early 19th century commission house located in northeastern Brazil that was engaged in transnational commerce. Specifically, I used the outgoing correspondence generated by this firm during its first year-and-a-half in business as a window onto the international network of merchants with which it interacted. (There are no records of incoming correspondence, unfortunately.)

Some 350 letters sent by this firm contain not only sender-recipient data, but also information about third parties involved in transactions and vessels engaged in transportation. While I have entered about 85% of that information, this database is still a work in progress. Thus far it has generated some 798 nodes and 1,343 links in a social visualization projection. I have found the interconnectivity among the individuals and firms within this network to be even more extensive and dense when viewed graphically than I had been able to intuit from the written record. In nodegoat, one can easily zoom in on any given node and easily explore the linkages associated with it. Projecting that same correspondence geographically was also revelatory.

This is but one of quite a few databases I have since developed using very different foci and types of information. I often go through several iterations of database design before settling on one that best displays the phenomena I am trying to capture visually. I am still learning nodegoat and the incredible range of what can be done in it. Experimentation is key. It is also teaching me new ways to think through the data I have, especially in terms of the various diachronic relationships found within diverse types of information, and how to break down that information into categories I might not have thought to delineate otherwise.
Geographical visualization of 350 business letters sent by a foreign commission house in northeastern Brazil, 1810-1811, showing the locations of the recipients and of third parties mentioned in the correspondence.
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Repertorium Academicum Germanicum - The Graduate Scholars of the Holy Roman Empire

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Visualisation of catchment areas of universities within the Holy Roman Empire (1250-1550), grouped by colour.
The RAG is a long-term project in the field of digital humanities that records and evaluates the biographical, social and cultural data of university scholars of the Holy Roman Empire.

The aim of the Repertorium Academicum Germanicum (RAG) is to develop the history of the cultural reach of a pre-modern intellectual leadership. The RAG gains a comprehensive insight into the medieval origins of the modern knowledge society with around 60.000 scholars with 360.000 observations on their life and career paths, within the framework of an analysis of contextualized prosopography. The RAG uses nodegoat as their primary data storage application and research environment. nodegoat is also used to create and publish diachronic geographical and social visualisations.

Work on the RAG began in 2001 under the direction of Rainer Schwinges and Peter Moraw, financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), the German research foundation and the Fritz Thyssen Foundation. From 2007 to 2019 the project was funded by the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities and from 2008 on as well by the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences. The project will be run from 2020 at the University of Bern as part of the larger project Repertorium Academicum (REPAC), which is led by Christian Hesse and Kaspar Gubler and advised by Rainer Schwinges.[....]

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University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Humanities

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Geographical visualisation created by the NWO VIDI project (2018-2023) 'Managing multi-level conflicts in commercial cities in northern Europe (c. 1350-1570)', that runs on the nodegoat Go installation at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Amsterdam. More information about this project can be found at premodernconflictmanagement.org/
The Faculty of Humanities at the University of Amsterdam provides their researchers with nodegoat services.

Researchers of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Amsterdam are able to set up collaborative nodegoat research environments. These environments run on a nodegoat installation on a server of the faculty.

Access: nodegoat.uva.nl
Project Website: ictonderzoek.humanities.uva.nl/en/nodegoat-en/

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Ghent University - Ghent Centre for Digital Humanities

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Social visualisation of people and conferences. The red nodes represent conferences around the theme of 'Bienfaisance/Assistance', the black nodes represent people who attended one or more of these conferences. More information about this project can be found at tic.ugent.be
The Ghent Centre for Digital Humanities provides researchers of Ghent University with nodegoat services.

Researchers of Ghent University are able to set up collaborative nodegoat research environments with support from the Ghent Centre for Digital Humanities. These environments run on a nodegoat installation on a server of the university.

Access: nodegoat.ugent.be
Project Website: ghentcdh.ugent.be/services/collaborative-databases

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METROMOD - Relocating Modernism: Global Metropolises, Modern Art and Exile

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First prototype of a map of locations visited by exiled artists in New York City.
ERC funded project at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich that aims to mark out a map of life and work in exile metropolises in the first half of the 20th century.

The METROMOD project analyses networks in exile metropolises and aims to map urban topographies, inner-city districts, outlying suburbs and streets, to places where interactions took place, but also to the venues used for exhibitions and collaborative. Researchers of this project use nodegoat as their primary data storage application. nodegoat is also used to produce diachronic social and geographical visualisations.

METROMOD runs between 2017 and 2022 at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. This project is directed by Burcu Dogramaci and funded by the European Research Council with an ERC Consolidator Grant. [....]

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NEP4DISSENT - New Exploratory Phase in Research on East European Cultures of Dissent

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Visualisation of movements of participants between their home institute and project events.
COST Action project that aims to trigger the next discovery phase of the legacy of resistance and dissent in former socialist Europe 1945-1989.

The NEP4DISSENT COST Action project uses nodegoat to store contact information of participants, which is displayed on the project website by means of the nodegoat API. nodegoat is also used to produce geographic visualisations of movements of participants who attend project events.

Between 15 July and 23 July 2019 The NEP4DISSENT COST Action project organised a summer university at the Central European University in Budapest. Participants learned how to set up their own nodegoat environment during this course. You can read more about this event in this blog post.[....]

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MapModern - Mapping Hispanic Modernity. Cross-border Literary Networks and Cultural Mediators

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Dataset published by the MapModern project 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.
ERC funded project at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya that maps the impact of Hispanic cultural mediators in international modernity during the first half of the twentieth century.

The MapModern project focuses on cross-border literary networks and cultural mediators in the hispanic world between 1908 and 1939. Researchers of this project use nodegoat as their primary data storage application. nodegoat is also used to produce diachronic social and geographical visualisations.

MapModern runs between 2018 and 2023 at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. This project is directed by Diana Roig Sanz and funded by the European Research Council with an ERC Starting Grant. [....]

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Encyclopedia of Romantic Nationalism in Europe

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Geographic visualisation of over 38000 letters in the ERNiE database.
ERNiE contains over 1700 analytical articles on themes and persons, as well as historical documentation, tracing and visualizing the transnational rise of national culture-building in 19th-century Europe.

The Encyclopedia of Romantic Nationalism in Europe (ERNiE) has played a foundational role in the development of nodegoat.

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, which still runs at http://projects.lab1100.com/labmap/.[....]

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Mapping Visions of Rome

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View of the Object 'Landino Cristoforo Xandra 2.30 (De Roma fere diruta)' in the Type 'Text'.
This project aims to organize and annotate a collection of (Renaissance) Latin poetry related to the city and symbol of Rome.
Susanna de Beer (LUCAS, Leiden University)

As part of a book project I was looking for a database environment in which I could organize and annotate a collection of (Renaissance) Latin poetry related to the city and symbol of Rome. When I came across nodegoat via de project ‘Mapping Nodes and Notes in Networks’ I immediately realized that this was what I needed. In nodegoat I could create exactly the kind of database structure I had in mind, and could benefit from the built-in chronological and geographical visualization options.

In Mapping Visions of Rome I can annotate the full text of my primary sources according to the elements of the Roman legacy they refer to and include information about these sources that place them in a specific historical and artistic context (also by linking dynamically to other resources). The annotations not only help me to understand the individual texts better, but also allow me to navigate through my material from different perspectives, in order to trace, for example, a specific Roman monument, literary motif or person, identify works that have been made within the same patronage network, or look for chronological or geographical trends.

Since these poems often concern specific locations, the geographical visualization is especially useful and attractive. Numerous Renaissance poets included literary walks through Rome in their works, modelled on a famous passage in Virgil’s epic poem, the Aeneid. Using nodegoat I reconstructed a selection of these walks on the map of Rome, showing that these poets were not only interested in literary imitation, but also invested in a correct rendering of the topography of Rome.

This project has been funded by a VENI grant of the NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research), LUF (Leiden University Fund) and NIAS (Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences).

Project Website: digitalromanheritage.com/mapping-visions-of-rome/
Public User Interface: rome.nodegoat.net

Geographic visualisation of the Virgilian walk Petrarca.
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Collecting the West: How collections create Western Australia

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Public User Interface that allows users to browse articles written within the scope of this project.
This projects maps how objects from Western Australia have circulated through global, national, and local collecting networks during the last 400 years.

Collecting the West re-defines Western Australia's place in the world by mapping and analysing what's been collected from Western Australia. Collecting the West is a collaboration between The University of Western Australia and Deakin University, in partnership with the Art Gallery of Western Australia, the State Library of Western Australia, the Western Australian Museum, and the British Museum.

Researchers of this project use nodegoat to establish a data collection of items that have been collected from Western Australia. nodegoat is also used as a publication platform to write and publish short essays on collected items.[....]

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Building the Portuguese Empire in the 19th Century

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View of the Object 'Casa do comando do reino de Lautém' in the Type 'Works'.
This projects seeks to understand the Colonial Public Works as a system of mobility, in which heterogeneous actors interact and shape one another in different ways.
Alice Santiago Faria (CHAM, FCSH, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa)

I was looking for and experimenting network analysis software and hadn’t made up my mind – one of my problems was that no software seemed to respond to what I wanted to do and I had to shape my data and my questions to it – when I come across nodegoat.

I’m trying to explore a method of understanding the Colonial Public Works as a system of mobility, in which heterogeneous actors interact and shape one another in different ways, changing the built environment across geographies. So, one of my problems was that I wanted to work with a large heterogeneous dataset and to have control of the data. nodegoat was a perfect answer to my problems since is an object-oriented software and can be used to design your own datasets with great liberty. Moreover, it combines a set of unique possibilities that are really helpful for my work: the analysis of relations with spatial and chronological contextualization; it allows one to move smoothly from a micro (individual) to macro scale (collective) and back; it is possible to produce different types of analysis.

Furthermore, it is designed thinking of historical data - therefore, incomplete data is not a big problem - and it allows linking each piece of data (in many types, typical historical references but also linking data from the web, to images, etc. to its source, maintaining the “control” I was looking for.

This project has been funded by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia through national funds from Ministério da Educação e Ciência.

Project website: buildingtheportugueseempire.org

Geographic visualisation of all the Objects in the Type 'Person', including the Sub-Objects 'Birth', 'Death', 'Education', 'Post', and 'Travels'.
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Reconstructing the Phillipps Collection (Phillipps pilot)

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View of the Object 'Phillipps MS 3902' in the Type 'Manuscripts'.
This project traces the history of manuscripts, and maps the provenance events and ownership networks which are embodied in that history
Toby Burrows (School of Humanities, University of Western Australia, and Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford)

Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792-1872) put together the largest personal collection of European manuscripts ever assembled, containing as many as 60,000 items. The manuscripts had varied geographical origins, were written in many different languages, and covered a wide range of subjects and topics. Their dispersal took place gradually over more than one hundred years after Phillipps’ death, and their modern locations are spread across the globe.

The aim of this project is to trace the history of these manuscripts, and to map the provenance events and ownership networks which are embodied in that history. This involves bringing together heterogenous data from a variety of sources, constructing a data model to harmonize the data, and visualizing the data in the form of maps and graphs.

nodegoat is the software platform I chose for the project. It enabled me to build my own data model, which combines descriptions of individual manuscripts with ownership events in their history. Data can be uploaded in batch from spreadsheets, as well as entered through customized input forms. The provenance histories can be viewed as geographical trajectories over the centuries, and can also be displayed as time-based network graphs. nodegoat is the ideal vehicle for my explorations of manuscript histories.

This project has been funded by an European Union Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship (2014-2016).

Project website: tobyburrows.wordpress.com
Public User Interface: personal-research-domain-burrows.nodegoat.net

Geographic visualisation of all the Objects in the Type 'Manuscripts', including the Sub-Objects 'Manuscript Sold', 'Manuscript Described In', 'Manuscript Owned', 'Manuscript Produced'.
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SKILLNET - Sharing Knowledge in Learned and Literary Networks

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Visualisation of the letters that are part of manuscript no. 983 in Utrecht University Library. In a 19th-c. catalogue, this manuscript is described as Epistolae diversorum descriptae ex authographis ab Arnoldo Buchelio et Arnoldi Buchelii ad diversos, or: “Letters from various people, copied from the autographs, by Arnoldus Buchelius and [ letters ] from Arnoldus Buchelius to various people”
ERC funded project at the University of Utrecht that uses nodegoat to study the networks of early modern scholars.

SKILLNET analyses networks of the early modern community of learned men and women that were part of the so-called ‘Republic of Letters’. These letters are studied by means of qualitative as well as quantitative approaches. The project uses nodegoat to produce diachronic social and geographical visualisations. You can read more about their work in this blog post.

SKILLNET runs between 2017 and 2022 at the University of Utrecht. This project is directed by Dirk van Miert and funded by the European Research Council with an ERC Consolidator Grant. [....]

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Mapping Notes and Nodes in Networks

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View of the Object of a letter sent by Jean le Clerc to Marco Antonio Magliabechi on 10-10-1709.
PhD project that analyses seventeenth century Dutch and Tuscan correspondence networks.
Ingeborg van Vugt (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa / University of Amsterdam)

nodegoat allows me to curate and combine efficiently both data coming from archival research and retrieved from larger datasets into one interface. This results in an environment that includes data on more than 20.000 correspondences, written between scholars in the Dutch Republic and Tuscany in the seventeenth century. nodegoat enables me to map not only the overall structure of that network in interactive visualizations, but it highlights also the finest detail of that network structure. This means that I can represent not only the sender and the receiver of the letters, but I can provide a richer version of that network by including data on early modern books, authors and publishers.

nodegoat has become an invaluable asset to my workflow. It supports me to import, curate, clean, explore and visualize every possible combination of data, enabling me to see and explore connections I would otherwise never have thought of. Moreover, the possibility to link nodegoat directly to the VIAF and the Short Title Catalogue offers me transparency and control over my data, making it easier to share and re-use my dataset afterwards.

Public User Interface: http://mnn.nodegoat.net/viewer

Social visualisation of over 1900 Objects in the Type 'Letter', including all the relationships tagged in the transcript of the letters (e.g. artifacts, people, places, letters, introductions), plus the relationships as identified in the metadata of the letters (e.g. sender, receiver, part correspondence, subject, enclosed artifact).
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Getting forgotten within the world of learning, 18th - 20th centuries

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Geographical visualization of 532 persons (with almost 3.000 Sub-Objects) related to the four main protagonists of the study, showing a clear North-South pattern.
This project aims at reconstructing the processes at work when scholars drop out of the memory of the world of learning
Tobias Winnerling (Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf)

I needed a tool for diachronic visualization of network data as I wanted to focus on networks which break down, peter out, and dwindle away over time. My project aims at reconstructing the processes at work when scholars drop out of the memory of the world of learning. I had two assumptions to start with: Scholars are forgotten when they are no longer referenced, cited, talked and written about; and almost all scholars get forgotten over time.

While struggling to find a method to investigate these processes and a tool to carry it out, I came across nodegoat and was intrigued by its flexibility and capacities of diachronic visualization from the start. So I decided to design my project as an inverted reception analysis in the form of a network study – after all, any reference to a scholar constiutes a relation between a referrer and the one who is referred to. Publications, letters, quotations, citations, references and meetings all were to figure as parts of this network originating from a few exemplary persons, and the huge freedom of configuration nodegoat allows has helped me a lot in curating these data and understanding the relations between them. As I do not have figured out the full range of possibilities yet, I am still working on my data model.

Project website: fading18-20.hypotheses.org

Social visualization of 727 letters (with over 1400 Sub-Objects) from the enlarged circle of persons, pointing to the centrality of Eusebè Renaudot (1646-1720).
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