Network analysis explores relationships and connections within a dataset. While network analysis is used by a variety of fields in the social sciences and life sciences, digital humanists have used these tools on to explore networks of British kinship, connections among the Republic of Letters, and tweeters at an international DH conference. Scott Weingart writes about network analysis in the Journal of DH, introducing some basic terminology and caveats.
The tools below are commonly used by digital humanities scholars. Other tools for network analysis can be found on the DiRT Directory.
Gephi is free, open-source tool for network graph visualization. It runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. Data can be imported from .CSV and a variety of graph formats.
Palladio is a free web-based data visualization platform that is currently in development at Stanford University’s Humanities+Design lab. The tool offers several views: network graphs, maps, timelines, table, and galleries. See Humanities+Design’s video tutorial or Miriam Posner’s “Getting Started with Palladio” for a hands-on introduction.
Berkeley Prosopography Services (BPS)
BPS is a tool for historical social network analysis currently being developed in the Near Eastern Studies department. BPS features a disambiguation engine which uses probabilistic methods to distinguish distinct historical entities. Read more about BPS’ current development work and prosopography workshops on the DH at Berkeley blog. Interested collaborators can contact Laurie Pearce at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Training & Consulting
Researchers interested in more in-depth training can explore offerings at the annual Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI) hosted at the University of Victoria. The DH at Berkeley Summer Institute (August 17- 21) will offer a track on network analysis with Gephi and data visualization. Applications are due May 15, 2015.
During the academic year, introductory workshops in Gephi and network analysis are occasionally offered at the D-Lab. D-Lab consultants can offer advice on some preparatory steps for network analysis, such as data cleaning.
Questions? Contact a digital humanities consultant to discuss your project.