Digital Humanities: New Funding for the Scholars’ Lab (Univ of Virginia) “Neatline” Mapping Platform
From UVA Today:
The University of Virginia had the distinction of receiving the most grant funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities of any university in the endowment’s July funding cycle. Of the $1,745,414 granted to UVA programs, $324,554 went to Neatline, an innovative digital humanities software created by the Scholars’ Lab.
“Neatline is a way of making online exhibits based on a map, a timeline and often a text,” said Eric Rochester, manager of research and development at the Scholars’ Lab. “It allows people to easily create custom data presentations and tell stories based off a map and timeline.”
Neatline – designed for humanities projects – is meant to help scholars think about their research and data in spatial terms. Overlaying portions of text and research information with maps and timelines make it easier to spot patterns and identify new avenues for inquiry.
“Neatline began in response to an interesting trend in digital humanities to become more spatial and to think about the importance of global information systems. There was a boom in accurate data about space,” said Alison Booth, the director of the Scholars’ Lab and a professor of English. “The platform is distinctive because it’s tailored to the humanities. It caters to messy data and things that require continual interpretation.”
The software works by plugging into a program called Omeka, a WordPress-like creation designed to help small to midsize libraries create digital exhibits. Neatline has been in constant evolution since 2011 as developers at the Scholars’ Lab add new capabilities and methods for customization. It’s become more flexible in recent years, allowing users to input larger amounts of data and discard certain applications like the timeline tool where necessary. With the recent grant funding, they hope to expand the platform even farther with new mobile and touch screen options.
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Learn More, Direct to Neatline Web Site
Direct to Several Neatline Demos
See Also: UVA Working to Create Digital Map of Faulkner’s Literary World (via WVIR)
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Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.