I work in digital humanities at the University of Sussex as a member of the Sussex Humanities Lab http://www.sussex.ac.uk/shl/. My work uses multimedia technology and engineering to represent information from humanities research questions. My interest is in developing tools and approaches to engage with this challenge.
I am currently building macroscope technology to explore information at scale. The most developed example of this work uses the case study of a set of historical research projects that investigate trial records from the Old Bailey between 1674 and 1913. The dataset and associated research represents more than two decades of effort. The collection of these works provides significant opportunities for developing applications to explore representation and analysis. The challenge is to facilitate a passage from a distant reading spanning multiple centuries of data to a close reading of a single record such as a word, utterance or event. Our example navigates from a visual representaion of the range of trials to a virtual reality putppet show that provides interaction at the level of utterances. The output of this work can be seen at http://oldbaileyvoices.org/.
Several parts of the technology used for the macroscope were initially created to examine the written works of a science fiction author with comparison to selected other works. This was a project with broad challenges which lead to multiple reuse opportunities for the technology created for the work. Much of the technology was specific for processing and preparing the data set during the initial steps of the investigation; however, the reusable 3D graphing tools and some of the presentation output from this project is available at http://caroline.benskitchen.com/.
I am also interested in collaborative network communication for the visual components of virtual prototyping simulations. My work in this area created a set of 3D assets and tools for collaborative networked interaction with real and simulated environments, actors, interfaces and devices. The VRTP design rationale by Don Brutzman, Mike Zyda, Kent Watsen and Mike Macedonia was a significant influence on the work. My effort focused on exploring how to handle the scale and diversity issues presented by the age of ubiquitous computing and the challenges this presents designers and design tools that prototype interoperability at scale.
These tools have also been used for research in archaeological reconstruction and multi-display synchronisation.