what is the eSAD Project?

(The magnifying glass is perhaps a form of ‘Interpretation Support System’.

The eSAD project is another ambitious and well-conceptualised project from AHRC-EPSRC-JISC Arts and Humanities e-Science Initiative (sorry, an overly complicated set of acronyms here…my acronym is bigger than your acronym!)

Anyhow what particularly attracts me to this project is its use of the concept of a Interpretation Support System.  What I think this means is that the systems is designed to help researchers make decisions about what is presented to them on the screen and feed it back into the system. I like this a lot as it put the researcher’s tacit knowledge at the centre of the task because after all, the digital humanists are also tools in the digital humanities.

The Image, Text, Interpretation: e-Science, Technology and Documents project (also known as eSAD: e-Science and Ancient Documents) aims to use computing technologies to aid experts in reading ancient documents in their complex task. The four year project, being undertaken at the University of Oxford with input from University College London, is funded under the AHRC-EPSRC-JISC Arts and Humanities e-Science Initiative, and will run until the end of 2011.

The project will work on creating tools which can aid the reading of damaged texts like the stilus tablets from Vindolanda. Furthermore, the project will explore how an Interpretation Support System (ISS) can be used in the day-to-day reading of ancient documents and keep track of how the documents are interpreted and read. A combination of image processing tools and an ontology based support system will be developed to facilitate experts by tracking their developing hypotheses.

The system will also suggest alternative readings (based on linguistic and palaeographic data) as they undertake the complex reading process, aiming to speed the process of understanding a text. The project also aims to investigate how the resulting images, image tools, and data sets can be shared between scholars.

Digital boost for work of arts

An article in the Times Higher Education supplement about the Arts and Humanities e Science support Centre (AHESSC) here at King’s College in London.

Imagine the research possibilities of being able to view three-dimensional scans of museum objects, write dance moves electronically or study ancient documents that were previously considered too damaged to decipher.

E-tools are being developed to allow researchers to do these things, aiding scholarly work in subjects that are not usually associated with such technology, such as museum curation, dance, archaeology and music. The tools are also opening new possibilities for researchers who want to process a large amount of data or share resources more widely (link).

Oxford Internet Survey 2009 Report: The Internet in Britain

(A interesting new report from the Oxford Internet Institute)

The Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, has today released the OxIS Report 2009, the latest report in a series of Oxford Internet Surveys (OxIS) that cover the changing landscape of Internet access, use and attitudes in Britain. Dutton, W.H., Helsper, E.J. and Gerber, M.M. (2009) Oxford Internet Survey 2009 Report: The Internet in Britain. Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. Download OxIS 2009 [PDF, 1.9MB]: http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/research/oxis/oxis2009_report.pdf OxIS website: http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/microsites/oxis/ The Report will be formally launched at the House of Commons later this afternoon at an event hosted by Derek Wyatt, MP. Presentations on the significance of OxIS will be given by representatives from the sponsoring organisations: Adrian Arthur (British Library), James Thickett (Ofcom) and Mark Cowtan (Scottish and Southern Energy). Continue reading “Oxford Internet Survey 2009 Report: The Internet in Britain”

New Digital Humanities Quarterly (DHQ) available: Spring 2009: v3 n2

Digital Humanities Quarterly is a refreshing and innovative online journal in the Digital Humanities field. The latest issue is about the concept of ‘completion’ in a Digital Humanities work. As Mathew Kirschenbaum atates: “How do we know when we’re done? This cluster of articles explores completion and incompletion in the digital humanities from a variety of perspectives”. And from the Editor: Julia Flanders.

As we head towards the fourth anniversary of the journal’s inception,
I would like to thank the entire DHQ team for all of their hard work,
creativity, and sense of adventure. Thanks as well are due to all
those who have contributed to the reviewing and have given the authors
such thoughtful feedback and advice. Finally, we all thank the authors
for the excellent material they have enabled us to publish, and the
journal’s readers for their attention.

Best wishes and thanks to all–Julia

Julia Flanders
Editor-in-chief, DHQ
Brown University

Quarterly (http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/)

How to track Iranian protests online #iranelections

Here is how to find out about the Iranian elections online. Please send me your links. Also, Twitter’s down time has been rescheduled because of the important role that it is playing in the US elections (see link).

Hash Tag: #Iranelections (search and post your blogs and tweets with this).

  • Andrew Sullivan’s Blog (link) Thanks to D.P. for the link
  • uk-iran.com (link) Thanks to Payman for the link


  • (Flickr. search on Iran and Protests)


“The popular Iranian cartoonist, Nikahang Kosar, depicts Ahmadinejad as a bandit holding Iran to ransom. This is his take on the official result” (from the Guardian)