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  • Scholarly chronographics: can a timeline be useful in historiography?

Boyd Davis, Stephen and Kräutli, Florian, 2014, Conference or Workshop, Scholarly chronographics: can a timeline be useful in historiography? at European Social Science History Conference, Vienna University, Vienna, Austria, 23-26 April 2014. (Unpublished)

Abstract or Description:

Our paper is concerned with the visualisation of historical events and artefacts in the context of time. It arises from a project bringing together expertise in visualisation, historiography and software engineering. The work is the result of an extended enquiry over several years which has included investigation of the prior history of such chronographics and their grounding in the temporal ontology of the Enlightenment.

Timelines - visual, spatial presentations of chronology - are generally regarded as being too simple, perhaps too childish, to be worthy of academic attention, yet such chronographics should be capable of supporting sophisticated thinking about history and historiography, especially if they take full advantage of the capabilities of digital technologies. They should enable even professional academic historians to 'make sense' of history in new ways, allowing them insights they would not otherwise have achieved.

In our paper we highlight key findings from the history of such representations, principally from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and show how, in a project to develop new digital chronographics for collections of cultural objects and events, we have explored new implementations of the important ideas we have extracted about timewise presentation and interaction. This includes the representation of uncertainty, of relations between events, and the epistemology of time as a 'space' for history.

We present developed examples, in particular a chronographic presentation of a large database of works by a single author, a composer, and discuss the extent to which our ambitions for chronographics have been realised in practice.

Keywords: timeline, chronographics

Official URL: https://esshc.socialhistory.org/esshc-user/program...
Subjects: Other > Mathematical and Computer Sciences > G400 Computer Science > G440 Human-computer Interaction
Other > Historical and Philosophical studies > V300 History by topic > V320 Social History
Other > Historical and Philosophical studies > V300 History by topic > V340 Intellectual History
Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies > W210 Graphic Design > W213 Visual Communication
School or Centre: School of Design
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2014 17:08
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2016 16:21
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1623

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