Designing documents to enhance the performance of digital libraries: time, space, people and a digital library on London
Phelps, Thomas A~Wilensky, Robert
Abstract: In a mature digital library, documents should coexist with a Geographic Information System. The GIS component of the DL should be able to scan documents for toponyms and then generate a map illustrating the places cited in a document. This visualization should be available in both static and dynamic form. The system should be able to generate an animation showing the place names in the text in the order in which they appear, allowing the reader to see the shifting geographic focus of the document. It should be possible as well to indicate the frequency with which places are mentioned, and readers should, of course, be able to go from locations on a map to places in the DL which mention them.
One of our current research projects is to explore the extent to which geographic visualization tools can help readers grasp the complex temporal-spatial interactions that shape many (especially historical) documents. For cultural digital libraries, time and space are crucial categories of information. Our goal is to develop a temporal-spatial front end for digital libraries, including the Perseus project. To accomplish this goal, we have developed a testbed on the history and topography of London. The testbed includes dense and precise quantities of temporal and geospatial information embedded in texts, maps and images. We have been seeking ways to disambiguate and link automatically the information found in the collection.