A MITH Digital Dialogue

Tuesday, November 4, 12:30-1:45

MITH Conference Room, McKeldin Library B0135

“New World Ordering: Shaping Geospatial Information for Scholarly Use.”

by Bethany Nowviskie

With the exception of a few exemplary projects, geospatial information technology has played a surprisingly a small role in humanities scholarship, given the importance of space and place to historical and literary understanding. However, the ubiquity of easy mapping interfaces and handheld devices is now bringing GIS to the attention of researchers beyond science, architecture, and engineering. The Scholars’ Lab at the University of Virginia Library is developing a new technical infrastructure and discovery mechanism to aggregate and visually layer terabytes of its own geospatial data with open-access information on the Web. But can we design a system to meet the special interpretive requirements of the humanities? How can we serve disciplines for which subjectivity inflects results, and ambiguous or contradictory evidence necessarily shapes every map?

BETHANY NOWVISKIE is Director of Digital Research & Scholarship at the University of Virginia Library. Her department includes the Scholars’ Lab (formerly UVA Library’s GeoStat and EText Centers and ITC Research Computing Support) and Digital Scholarship R&D, a team of programmers building cyberinfrastructure and partnering on faculty projects. Dr. Nowviskie is Program Associate with the Scholarly Communication Institute and serves on the executive councils of NINES (the Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship) and the ACH (Association for Computers and the Humanities). Her doctoral degree is in English from the University of Virginia, where she recently held a position on the research faculty of the College of Arts & Sciences as lead designer for NINES.

Coming up @MITH 11/11: Merle Collins (English) – POSTPONED until spring semester

Digital Dialogues will resume 11/18: Ann Weeks (iSchool and HCIL), “The International Children’s Digital Library: An Introduction for Scholars.”

View MITH’s complete Digital Dialogues schedule here:


All talks free and open to the public!

Contact: Neil Fraistat, Director, MITH (www.mith.umd.edu, mith@umd.edu, 5-8927).