Humanities Data Visualization, a workshop to be held at Georgia Tech from March 2nd to March 4th, 2016, will bring together leading humanities scholars with visualization designers and researchers to explore a range of meanings of humanities “data,” and to prototype new methods for their visual display. Our goal is to encourage these otherwise unlikely collaborators to imagine new forms and platforms capable of portraying the humanistic dimensions of culturally significant data-- an increasingly important challenge in the fields of digital humanities and information visualization alike.

We have organized the workshop so as to facilitate a process of research through design. Participants will work in interdisciplinary teams to prototype a visualization of one scholar’s humanities data. For a more detailed workshop schedule, click here.

Humanities Data Visualization has been generously funded by Georgia Tech's GVU Center, the Institute for People and Technology, the School of Literature, Media, and Communication, and the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, and the Intel Center for Social Computing (ISTC-Social).

The design for this website is inspired by Speaking in Code. The background image depicts the city of Atlanta circa 1919.


Our participants come from diverse backgrounds in academia, industry, and the arts; and bring together a variety of disciplinary backgrounds and domain expertise. Our humanities scholars research topics as far-ranging as modernist poetry, the Black Press, and the environmental impact of fracking. Our visualization designers and researchers have experience producing a wide variety of outcomes including academic papers, software, exhibitions, permanent installations, and performance art.

Click the images below for bios and more information.


Humanities Data Visualization will be held between Wednesday, March 2nd, and Friday, March 4th, 2016.

We have envisioned a three-part format, consisting of an evening of informal presentations by workshop participants, a daylong visualization development session in interdisciplinary teams, followed by a morning spent critiquing and annotating the resultant prototype designs.

Unless otherwise indicated, all workshop events will be held at Georgia Tech’s Institute for People and Technology (IPaT), 75 5th St, 6th Floor, Suite 600.


Time Activity

Working Dinner at the Publik Draft House

The organizers will facilitate a working dinner, in which workshop participants will learn about the six humanities datasets, and meet the members of their visualization teams.


Time Activity

Breakfast provided at IPaT


Problem Setting Exercise

The workshop organizers, Lauren Klein, Yanni Loukissas, and Carl DiSalvo, will outline the goals of the workshop and lead the teams in a problem-setting exercise.


Preliminary Review

On the basis of the problem-setting exercise, each group will draft a design brief to guide their work for the day.


Work Session

Working in their teams, participants will begin to envision their visualization prototype.


Lunch provided at IPaT


Peer-to-Peer Review

The workshop organizers will facilitate a preliminary peer-to-peer review among visualization teams.


Work Session

Participants will continue to work in their teams to develop their prototypes.


Optional Peer-to-Peer Review

The workshop organizers will facilitate a second peer-to-peer review among visualization teams, if requested.


Work Session

Participants will work in their teams to finalize their prototypes, and to prepare their design briefs and presentations for the following day.


7:00-9:00pm Dinner at Escorpion


Time Activity

Breakfast provided at IPaT


Presentation Prep

Groups will meet to finalize their presentations for the group review.


Final Review

Participants will meet as a group to present their prototypes and solicit feedback. (Session will be open to the public).


Lunch provided at IPaT


Follow-Up Group Discussion

Participants will meet as a group to discuss lessons learned and next steps.


Humanities Data Visualization will run for two nights and two days, beginning with a working dinner at the Publik Draft House on Wednesday, March 2nd, at 6:30pm. Participants should arrive in Atlanta no later than 5pm that day. The sessions will conclude by 3pm on Friday, March 4th, allowing participants to make flights departing as early as 4:30pm.

Location & Directions

Georgia Tech is located ten miles north of Hartsfield Jackson International Airport (ATL) airport, and easily accessible by MARTA (Atlanta’s subway system). We recommend taking MARTA from the airport to the hotel. (Please save your receipts so that you can be reimbursed). More detailed instructions for how to do this can be found below.

The Institute for People and Technology is located on the 6th floor of the Centergy Building, located in Tech Square. Looking north from 5th Street, with The Spence (a restaurant) to your right, and the enticing cluster of Moe’s, Yogli Mogli, and Subway to your left, the Centergy Building will be straight ahead.

The Publik Draft House is located on the same block as the Hotel Indigo, just south of the Fox Theater. From the hotel, turn left and walk to the corner of Peachtree and Ponce de Leon; the Publik Draft House will be across the street.

Escorpion is located on the corner of 5th Street and Peachtree. We will walk to the restaurant as a group.


All external workshop participants will be housed at Hotel Indigo Midtown, 683 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta GA, 30308. The hotel is a 5 minute (.2 mile) walk from MARTA, and a 5-10 minute (.5 mile) walk to the workshop.

How to take MARTA from the Airport

Once you land at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport (ATL) you will take the train to the main terminal and baggage claim (past the T Gate). If you have checked luggage it may be retrieved here; flight numbers and originating cities will be listed on the electronic reader boards over each baggage carousel. Once you are ready to leave the airport make your way to ground transportation and take the MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority). MARTA departs from inside Hartsfield Jackson International Airport.

You will need to purchase a Breeze Card from a vending machine in the North terminal. There is a one-time charge of $1.00 to purchase the card. A one-way trip is $2.50; you have the option of buying a return fare at this point or you may add value to your Breeze Card for your return trip at a later time. Please note the system will NOT allow you to share a Breeze Card (You cannot buy 2 fares on one card, use one fare, and then pass the card to your travel companion). The $6.00 charge can be paid by cash or by credit card. There will be MARTA representatives nearby if you have questions navigating the vending machines. (Please also save your receipt, as we can reimburse you for this).

While in Hartsfield Jackson you will be at the southern terminus of the MARTA) line so it makes no difference which train you board. (One is marked North Springs and the other train is marked Doraville, but that split is past where you will disembark so it makes no difference.) Take the train north 9 stops to N3, the North Avenue Station.

When you get off the train there will be two sets of stairs/elevators on the platform level. If you use the one toward the front of the train you will emerge in the right place (actually you will be in the AT&T building).

If you go to the widest (i.e. handicap) gate, it will open automatically for you. The rest will require you to ‘tap out’ with your Breeze Card to open the gates. Again there will be MARTA employees on the upper platform to assist if necessary.

Once through the MARTA gates proceed through the glass doors (to your right will be a food court). Continue to the exterior doors and exit the building. You will be on Ponce de Leon Avenue, NE. Turn right and proceed to the first intersection, Peachtree Street, NE. Cross Peachtree Street at that point and turn left. Across the street is Atlanta’s Fabulous Fox Theater. On your right will be the Georgian Terrace; just past the Georgian Terrace is the Hotel Indigo, where you will be staying.

[For the return trip to the airport, make sure your Breeze card has a fare on it (or purchase one from the vending machine in the North Avenue Station) and be sure to take a southbound train, which will terminate in Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. Allow no less than 45 minutes to an hour for the MARTA ride to the airport, especially during non-peak times.]

How to get from Hotel Indigo to the Centergy Building

It is about a 5 block (.5 mile) walk to the Centergy Building. Exit the Hotel Indigo and turn right on Peachtree Street. Walk 3 blocks to 5th Street. There is a large Methodist church on the right (St. Mark UMC) and a Mexican restaurant (Escorpion) diagonally across the intersection with a large steel scorpion sculpture on the corner of the building. Turn left on 5th Street and continue to the dead end (about 2 short blocks). In front of you will be Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business (a four story atrium with 2 Chihuly glass sculptures hanging from the ceiling). Turn right at that intersection and proceed about 100 feet to the next intersection, which will be a continuation of 5th Street. Turn left there and continue through the next intersection, Spring Street.

In the next block on your right is a courtyard. The Centergy Building is at the rear of that courtyard; look for the revolving door.

Take the elevator to the 6th floor and look for the Institute for People and Technology (IPaT) door.


For questions about the content of the workshop, or about travel logistics, please contact Lauren Klein: lauren.klein@lmc.gatech.edu.

For questions about activities taking place within IPaT, please contact Don Schoner, dschoner3@gatech.edu, 404-894-IPAT (4728).

Click here to download the ground transportation reimbursement form.


Archive of Future Air

This dataset comes to us from weather balloons launched each day across the United States. Measuring air patterns, temperature and more at up to 30 kilometers above sea level, these scientific data must be re-tethered to the human context of our every breath.

Team members: Bill McKenna and Nicholas Shapiro (data), Jessica Anderson, Matthew Battles, Polo Chau, Song Hia, and Blacki Migliozzi.

Project website: http://www.aerocene.com/

Atlas of Caregiving

This dataset traces the physical and affective labor of family caregivers, by bringing together aggregate data from 14 different personal and environmental sensors along with self-reports and follow-up interviews. The project challenges us to reconsider the ethical and representational boundaries of health data.

Team members: Dawn Nafus (data), Caroline Foster, Matt Ratto, Anne Pollock, Jen Singh, John Stasko, and Jer Thorp.

Project website: http://atlasofcaregiving.com

The Baltimore Afro-American

This dataset contains millions of pages of digitized text from the Baltimore Afro-American, the longest-running African American family-owned newspaper in the United States. Considered as big data, the "Afro,” as the paper is colloquially known, offers insight into the role of the Black press in constructing and shaping African American identity, particularly as it relates to gender and sexuality.

Team members: Kim Gallon (data), Catherine D'Ignazio, Niklas Elmqvist, Nihad Farooq, Russell Huffman, and Benjamin Sugar.

Project website: http://blackpressresearchcollective.org

Colored Conventions

This dataset documents sixty years of “Colored Conventions,” collective organizing meetings that engaged thousands of Black participants in debates and calls for racial justice over the course of the nineteenth century. While the dataset records the words and actions of the convention delegates, it must more fully account for the crucial work performed by women, and others in the broader community that made these conventions possible.

Team members: Jim Casey, David Kim, and Labanya Mookerjee (data), Ridhima Gupta, Nassim JafiriNaimi, Katie Rawson, Jacqueline Jones Royster, and Chris Weaver.

Project website: http://coloredconventions.org

Ngā Upoko Tukutuku / Māori Subject Headings

Comprehensive subject headings, like those of the Library of Congress, provide frameworks for organizing knowledge. The subject headings devised by Te Whakakaokao, the Ngā Upoko Tukutuku Reo Māori Working Group, organize information according to the Māori worldview, in which body, mind, and spirit— categories we would otherwise easily distinguish— are inextricably intertwined.

Team members: Miriam Posner (data), Rahul Basole, Jim Foley, Marisa Parham, Peter Polack, and Jessica Yurkofsky.

Project website: http://natlib.govt.nz/nga-upoko-tukutuku

Power of Attorney / Poder Legal

This dataset is culled from notarial records in archives in Oaxaca, Mexico, dating from the colonial period through the first decades after independence. Consisting of people (grantors and grantees), places (including villages of origin and courts), and events (the production of notarial records), this dataset allows us to better understand the relationships that native people built with legal agents and legal institutions across the divides of language, culture, and geography.

Team members: Sara Palmer and Yanna Yannakakis (data), Roderic Crooks, Jenna Fizel, Chris LeDantec, Erica Pramer, and Juan Carlos Rodriguez.

Project website: https://scholarblogs.emory.edu/powerofattorney/

Revising Ekphrasis

Ekphrastic poetry, or poetry that describes visual art, present multiple layers of meaning within (and beyond) the bounds of the poem. This dataset contains the text of 4,500 poems filtered through a topic model (a technique derived from the field of machine learning). While the metaphorical language of poetry resists the thematic analysis that would usually follow, the model’s underlying statistics open up new opportunities for the analysis of ekphrasis in a wider range of poems.

Team members: Lisa Rhody (data), Paolo Ciuccarelli, Alex Endert, Gabby Resch, Jen Sterling, Richard Utz, and Zixuan Wang.

Project website: http://www.lisarhody.com/revising-ekphrasis/