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Wedding Digital With Traditional

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Ben Brady at metaLAB

Ben Brady's turntable can be used for creating 3-D images of artifacts, a valuable tool for scholars who may increasingly rely on digital representations of archived artifacts. Brady was among the participants who showcased his project at openLAB_Summer,

Credit: Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer

MetaLAB at Harvard University's primary goal is to find new ways to access, annotate, remix, display, and share information from the humanities.

MetaLAB faculty director Jeffrey Schnapp describes the challenge as knowledge design. Schnapp's core ethic for bringing the humanities into the digital age is a print-plus model of inquiry.

MetaLAB researcher Matthew Battles is interested in how standards of content can be negotiated. Although many of the new technologies developed at MetaLAB have financial advantages, the implications of these emerging technologies can be far greater when they are applied to harnessing scholarly insights from large data sets, such as library records or literary texts.

In addition, all the data on the Internet could one day be efficiently mined using metaLAB-developed visualization tools. Visualizing data also opens the humanities to further collaborations among previously disparate disciplines, Battles says.

MetaLAB-hosted projects include Paper Machines, which converted 100 years of global land reform data into dramatic visualizations, a color-coded map representing 10 years of library acquisitions at Harvard, a map that plots global news reports from National Public Radio, and the Digital Archive of Japan's 2011 Disasters.

From Harvard Gazette 
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Abstracts Copyright © 2012 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA 


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