My second entry focused on my obsession with Paradise Lost and and using Franco Morretti’s ideas to create a literary map. While intellectually intriguing, this style of mapping does not lend itself to large datasets. Instead, I envision users of an IMH mapping program selecting the issues/articles they wish to see mapped and then have an interface do the dirty work for them. Some pre-loaded selections and filters will be available to get people started.
The Visualizing Emancipation uses “Emancipation Event Types” and give a drop down menu of options. By reading through the IMH itself, dedicated issues would be a great place to begin: Native Americans, desegregation, and railroads, would give the user ideas of filter topics and what they would look like when applied. Time itself, is another key filter option, and ideally a SIMILE widget would exist at the bottom of mapping pages allowing for the unfolding of ideas against time to be mapped.
Finally, I read about Neatline, a new project out of the Scholars’ Lab at Virginia. This would require a re-thinking of presentation as Neatline is Omeka-based, but its plug-ins allow for sophisticated visualizations of trends by someone curating an exhibit about the IMH over time. A great example is a Lovecraft exhibit designed by a UVa undergraduate which connects passages in his writing to his hometown. By creating some Neatline tie-ins, the text of IMH, which is the real star of any mapping project concerning it, would come to the fore. The challenge of mapping ideas could be grappled with in a more satisfactory way.