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Grant number like: HJ-50028-10

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University of Nebraska (Lincoln, NE 68503-2427)
William G. Thomas (Project Director: July 2009 to September 2009)
William G. Thomas (Project Director: September 2009 to September 2012)

Digging into Data
Digital Humanities

[White paper]

$99,493 (approved)
$99,493 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2010 – 8/31/2011

Railroads and the Making of Modern America -- Tools for Spatio-Temporal Correlation, Analysis, and Visualization

This project will integrate a vast collection of textual, geographical, and numerical data about the railroad and its impact on society over the centuries, concentrating initially on the Great Plains and Northeast United States. The project team is comprised of humanities scholars and computer scientists from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and the University of Portsmouth.

This project aims to integrate large-scale data sources from the Digging into Data repositories with other types of relevant data on the railroad system, already assembled by the project directors. Our project seeks to develop useful tools for spatio-temporal visualization of these data and the relationships among them. Our interdisciplinary team includes computer science, history, and geography researchers. Because the railroad "system" and its spatio-temporal configuration appeared differently from locality-to-locality and region-to-region, we need to adjust how we "locate" and "see" the system. By applying data mining and pattern recognition techniques, software systems can be created that dynamically redefine the way spatial data are represented. Utilizing processes common to analysis in Computer Science, we propose to develop a software framework that allows these embedded concepts to be visualized and further studied.