DH Project Analysis: Mapping the Republic of Letters

What kind of files, data, objects are being used in the project in question?

  • The connections were made by referring to letters received and sent by different philosophers
  • Literature publications by different  
  • GPS and images of a world map

What’s the project research question? Or, questions?

  • Over the period of the enlightenment, what was the intellectual social network between different philosophers?
  • How can we visually display these networks?

What tools are being used? Created?

  • They created visual maps to display the network between these individuals
  • The creators of this project used traditional geographic maps, which are familiar, and added another layer of visual representation to display the networks.

What methods are being undertaken?

They used a graph theory model in conjunction with GPS to display the correspondences. In particular, they developed a weighted graph with a central vertex on a person of interest, such as John Locke. They then placed vertices at the locations of each of that person’s correspondences and an edge between those locations and the person. Finally, they magnified that edge based on the number of letters sent through the correspondence it represents.

Alex Black, Heson Oh

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