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Category: Seminars and workshops

Where do data ninjas go for help?

Where do DataNinjas go for help against that unbeatable foe called Gephi? That’s right, they ask online and wait for other ninjas to come to the rescue! They then ask them to write a guest post on their award winning blog. I am Sir Simon of Gephi and I nobly answered just such a call-to-arms. Aside from being Silke’s occasional tech support, I also own the complete Adventures of Tintin and an Iron Age spear, so I have all of the relevant Belgian/classicist credentials to be here (also I’m working on a PhD that involves crime and SNA or some such nonsense). For a slightly different approach to spaghetti monsters to the usual DataNinja stuff, I’m going to highlight how to construct networks from twitter and tell the tale of a trip to a pub with some digital classicists… Twitter digital classicist network After helping Silke cure about a 1000 errors that were occurring when data was imported into Gephi, she was kind enough to invite me along to a Digital Classicist lecture at King’s to see what sort of thing is going on in the DC field. There was a jolly interesting talk given by Leif Isaksen and Elton Barker about the Pelagios project and Recogito, and perhaps even more interesting to someone interested in spaghetti monsters, people were being encouraged to use #DigiClass to interact with the presentation. Twitter digital classicist network: Nodexl There are various tools which can be used to gather this data, my personal preference…

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Still looking for somewhere to unwind in 2015? Why not do a conference – city trip combo? Transportation costs are on the house! If your project/grant covers them of course, otherwise don’t bother – just go on a proper vacation. And don’t start that ‘I don’t have time for vacation’ crap. Bullshit. Cut your Twitter and Tinder time in half and you’ve already got three weeks to spare.     Challenge the Past/Diversify the Future: A Critical Approach to Visual and Multi-SensoryRepresentations for History and Culture in Gothenburg (March 19-21 2015) Multi-sensory representations?! I don’t think I want to know what an average Egyptian DIY-mud-and-poo-brick house smelt like. Or taste the notorious Roman fish gut seasoning. But there’s more brainy stuff to explore here. Posh UK-based Ninja is part of a panel that will discuss error and subjectivity in our sources. Her presentation will focus on spaghetti monsters of course. She’s going to talk about the instinctivity (I’m making up words again, right?) of layouts and the problem of statictivity (maybe I should start my own dictionary) of networks and how to deal with time lapse. And there’s the Volvo museum. Now who’d wanna miss out on that?! Computer Applicationsand Quantitative Methods in Archaeology in Siena (March 30 – April 3 2015) This year’s Woodstock for archaeologists who like to go digital is held in Siena. Surrounded by rolling Tuscan hills, ancient vineyards, quirky medieval towns and Renaissance masterpieces all just a few miles away… Need I say more?! To Mine and…

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Preparing your dataset for network analysis: a general introduction

Last week, your beloved Data Ninjas helped organize a workshop on how to get started with databases at the HNR2014 conference in Ghent. Due to popular demand, we’ll summarize the basic principles here. There’s nothing really SNA’y about building a database of course, but before you can go crazy with SNA, you have to have your data organized, so this is pretty important if you want to get something out of it easily. We’ve never really given this much thought actually: we’re pretty spoiled in this respect, because the database we work with, Trismegistos, was practically handed to us on a silver platter. Well, to Silke at least, two years ago. I actually helped build a large part of it for my PhD research, resulting in nightmares, insomnia and eventually a temporary ban on parsing names. Oh, those were the days… But we realize that others are not so fortunate and have to build theirs from scratch, which prompted our inner Mother Teresas to spread our miraculous database transubstantiation skillz among our peeps. For starters, we use Filemaker, cuz, well, that’s what Trismegistos rolls with. It’s really easy to work with: in fact, when you create a new database (File > New database; see: it’s that easy!), you automatically enter ‘layout mode’ and a ‘field picker’ pops up, in which you can start creating a list of new fields, which you can then drag to your new database (fig. 1 & 2).    Fig. 1: Filemaker ‘field picker’   Fig.…

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If you insist… more tutorials on R

This post is for all you nutcases out there who are considering working with R. Don’t be tempted by the Dark Side! They do NOT have cookies, however much they advertise the opposite. Only cookie monster has cookies, and he is obviously a UCINET guy. Because he’s blue, you see. And the UCINET website has lots of blue. Pure logic. Still sticking to R? Meh, well, it’s your life, waste away. Luckily, I got some tutorials to get you going. Just to be clear: these aren’t SNA-geared tutorials, just for R in general, but since you need a basic knowledge of how it works, this will definitely help. The first one is just the way we like it: simple and fun. It revolves around cats. Yes, cats. The internet is all about cats these days, and now they’re taking over R as well. Ok, gotta admit, R scores some serious points with this one. Get your catisfaction here. The second tutorial is a little more advanced, and explains how to write your own packages from scratch. If your going to be reusing functions often, this might come in handy. No cats involved in this one though, too bad 🙁 Finally, some reminders: – the CfP deadline for the Historical Network Research conference in Ghent in September is approaching (May 10). Make sure to sign up for our meet-and-greet! Check out one of our previous posts for more info. – I don’t think I’ve mentioned this one before, but there’s a…

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More events!

Here are some more events we thought you might be interested in. You might even spot us at some!   May 9-11: Networks and Interactions conference at Leiden University. Silke will enlighten the world with a paper on Demotic contracts from Ptolemaic Thebes. She created this cool multi-layered network incorporating the scribes, the contracting parties and the witnesses, linking those in the same documents, as well as recording family ties. The main focus is on the witnesses: how were they chosen? Were they connected to the notarial and scribal offices, or can they be linked to one or both parties as family and/or acquaintances perhaps? Or were they chosen randomly, passers-by simply picked from the streets when needed?   May 12: a conference on mixed-method approaches to social network analysis at Hendon Campus (Middlesex University) in Londen, where qualitative research is applied to social networks besides the traditional quantitative approach   July 11: Silke will present her Theban witness paper to a London audience this time, as part of the Digital Classicist London & Institute of Classical Studies summer seminars. More info, abstract and other speakers here! August 1: During yet another seminar in the Digital Classicist summer edition, Sebastian Rahtz and Gabriel Bodard will present the SNAP:DRGN project (of which our very own Trismegistos is a privileged partner!)  June 23-28 (2015!): Sunbelt XXXV – next mega SNA conference bij the INSNA will take place in Brighton (UK) next year, save the date! To make things easier, I created a calendar dedicated…

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CfP: Historical Network Research Conference 2014

Okay! Hold on te yer hats! We gonna do some serious advertising here! This year, the second Historical Network Research Conference will be held in Gent (September 15-19). Yup, that’s right, in our own brave little Belgium! What’s more: we are going te be there! Uh huh, slap on some sunscreen (better make that LOADS) and get ready to bask in our magnificent glow. Can’t get any better than that, you say? Well you better hold on to yer pants then, ’cause it actually does! Alright, here it comes. Or wait, maybe you should sit down for this one. Ok, got a pillow next to you in case you faint? Great! Because this is your one (who knows, perhaps not only) chance to get up close and personal with the DataNinjas during one of the pre-conference workshops we’re assisting! It obviously deals with the most important step in network analysis: preparing your data. Because, if you get that wrong, well, you’re screwed basically. Places are limited, so sign up as soon as possible, we’re expecting a major stampede here. Oh, and can you perhaps sign up for one of the other workshops as well? You know, so we don’t, like, embarrass the organizers? I mean, it’s not all about us after all. We’ll be doing an autograph and photo session of course, but come on guys, you gotta give the others a chance. There’s plenty of time to hang out with us during the breaks! Paper and poster sessions are…

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Prosop: a social networking tool for the past

Call for participants for the second Prosop database development workshop in Tallahassee (FL) on May 9. What is Prosop? Prosop is a collaborative semantic web database of details about individuals in the past. Although it maps networks and discovers connections, it is not just facebook for dead people. In particular, it aims to:manage diverse types of data from different historical settings,aggregate of large quantities of person data,accommodate uncertain and conflicting information, andfacilitate data-driven study of historical systems of description and classification. What kinds of data do we seek? We’re looking for information about relatively large sets of relatively ordinary people from the past. Typically, this information is extracted from archival records used by microhistorians. For example, the database contains the name, age, address, and physical description of 700 criminal court defendants from 1880s Egypt. Prosop is meant to work for all kinds of historical person data, and we are especially interested in data in unusual formats (linguistic, topical, or otherwise) that will help us to develop the flexibility of the system. Also, we are looking for participants who are willing to share their data with the community of researchers using Prosop.   It’s in Florida, peeps, don’t hesitate. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is just a 3h 39min drive away. The new section with Diagon Ally, King’s Cross station and so much more won’t be open by then yet, but I could spend a whole day riding just The Forbidden Journey in the castle anyway, it’s just SO TOTALLY…

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