When I talk to archaeologists and historians about what they want from a network software the following things usually come up:
- I want to see spatial maps!
- I want to have a slider to move through time!
- I want to put as many different types of relationships in there as I can!
- It has to be easy!
A software that does all that simply does not exist. Mainly because these are pretty demanding features for a piece of software and are not things that have been at the core of research in network science.
Until now that is!
Introducing The Vistorian: Interactive Visualizations for Dynamic and Multivariate Networks. Free, online, and open source.
The tool fills a gap in the market that delivers loads of functionality Humanities scholars crave. In fact, it was developed partly with humanities, history and archaeology scholars in mind. It allows you to deal with space, to explore your nodes and links on an interactive map. It allows you to slide through different time slices of your data. It allows you to add different layers of relationships. It allows you to stay on top of all that complexity and explore it intuitively through a range of different visualisation format: node-link, matrix, combined, map, time curves.
Benjamin Bach and I developed a step-by-step tutorial teaching archaeologists how to use The Vistorian, using a real archaeological dataset of Roman tableware distributions. Try it out! You can find it on the resources tab of this website.