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Digging Into Data, Day 2: Making Tools and ­sing Them

By Chronicle of Higher Education

June 15, 2011

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The creativity exhibited by scholars in the integration of big data and digital tools was highlighted in eight digital humanities research projects that won the first Digging Into Data competition showcased at the 2011 Digging Into Data Challenge Conference.

The "With Criminal Intent" project mines several hundred years' worth of digitized records of trials held at London's Old Bailey to answer a wide range of research queries, including the emergence of plea bargaining and the incidence of certain charges. A chief concentration of the project has been using the Old Bailey archive with the Zotero tool and the TAPoR text analysis portal.

Another project, "Mining a Year of Speech," pulled together 12 months' worth of spoken English compiled from real-world conversations, news broadcasts, and other sources so that researchers could show how this immense archive could be mined. One application tracks various stresses in pronunciations of a certain phrase on a scale and at a speed that would not be possible in traditional linguistic research.

University of Nebraska at Lincoln professor Stephen Ramsay delivered a talk about the degree to which digital humanities work has evolved in the last nine years, and how big data efforts can improve rather than shrink the humanities' traditional interaction with human experience.

From Chronicle of Higher Education
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