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Title: Collaborative Historical Information Analysis

Citation Type: Miscellaneous

Publication Year: 2017

Abstract: This chapter addresses the task of building world-historical data resources. The group that has formed, Big Data in Human History, is a collaboration of several social-science research groups using advanced information technology to document the characteristics of human society at multiple scales from the present back to early human times. The chapter underscores the need for global social-science analysis but also the major scientific and organizational challenges of such analysis. The chapter introduces the five social-science groups working on parallel and interactive projects at the scale of humanity over historical time, building interconnections while remaining distinct. For instance, researchers working on times 5000 years ago must use different data and techniques than those working on the period since 1800, though many of the analytical questions are similar. The first half of the chapter reviews the global framework, showing categories of scale and theory on a global level, then describes how the research projects of the groups are distributed over time and analytical focus. The second half of the chapter provides more detailed exploration of the research process in large-scale social science analysis, especially through examples from the Collaborative for Historical Information and Analysis as well as Seshat: Global History Databank. These sections begin with the information infrastructure—data collection, archiving, documentation, linking, analysis, and visualization—to be developed by the groups. Details on data and especially on metadata are central to the aggregation of data to a global level. Closely related are the formal ontologies that must be developed in space, time, topics, and levels of aggregation. Analysis relies on established methods of social science analysis but especially on new techniques. The concluding section explores prospects for deeper collaboration in quantitative analysis of the characteristics of human society.

Url: et al Collab Info.pdf

User Submitted?: No

Authors: Manning, Patrick; Francois, Pieter; Hoyer, Daniel; Zadorozhny, Vladimir

Publisher: University of Pittsburgh

Data Collections: IPUMS International, IPUMS Terra, IPUMS USA

Topics: Other