My talk was a scratch-the-surface on history and information visualisation.
The talk was a bit last minute - not in a scramble for the plane way, but that Matt hustled me on Thursday and I did it holding a/my baby. So here are some more thought-out points.
Some of this also wraps in some thinking from BBC days in digital history projects and news so advance apols if I'm ripping off your bit of the hive-mind.
My mate Tom Williams was very down on them and I couldn't work out why. I was convinced along with other megalomaniacs there that it was possible to do a visualisation of all of Time, programmes, events, everything. Maybe there is , but the same old thing comes back to haunt time-lines.
"If you are in at a decent detail, then you cannot see any context
if you are at a decent overview level, you cannot see any decent detail."
So that was my challenge - make time-lines that solve that. (im not going to show any here - buy the Cartographies of Time book)
It was the thing that I wrestled with in my WWII graphics - how to reconcile showing a signpost that didn't dominate the system, the wider story, yet served its function as drawing attention and labelling what the content was.
That was a particular challenge top a graphic in a magazine, but most stuff needs to stand out, get noticed, get used once,get sent on - and if there isn't that crucial in-road then your are stuffed.
So I thought about other roads to history data - and thought i'd share them.
The BBC is doing a decent job of The History of the World in 100 objects. I'd like to see a unique URL page for 100 million. Why not start with rare planes or stuff people naturally document, like stamps. It would catch on if it caught on somewhere just a bit. An Internet of Historical things. All the smart people we had in said all very well the BBC providing tagging tools for lots of objects but you need to start somewhere'. I repeat their words.
(Disclaimer - I am one who doesn't think the BBC should stick to just programme-web stuff. If while arsing about with early Antiques roadshow websites, they'd have made ebay, there wouldn't now be any worries about the license fee - I do believe it is as easy as that)
Today's news is tomorrows history. Today's news happens because of events in times past. There is a natural link. Decent meta-data and smart vis will solve this. It's not for everywhere - but on the big stories like Middle East, we are crying out for thefacst joined up and presented - both in their complexity and The 3 minute video explainer. I'd like to see a mash-up for school lessons that shows the links between news and history.
People of a certain age go nuts for family history - they are all on Ancestry.com. But there is bound to be a good mashup with history and family stuff.
I like history books. They are the beginning of a journey for many people. Books are online , so is data.
Those are the things I would have said if my heavy baby wasn't breaking my left arm. Well done Matt.