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Historians work with complex spatio-temporal data to create narrative accounts of historical developments. Historical sources are complex and diverse. They are often incomplete and contradictory and are drawn from many disciplines. The historian has the task of analyzing all the available evidence before synthesizing and re-presenting the data to create and interpret narratives which might account for what happened and to whom, when it happened and why. In this paper, a proof of concept implementation of TimeMaps is presented. TimeMaps give historians an easily learned tool that will both aid the analysis of, and provide an effective means of visualizing, lexical spatio-temporal narratives. Using a temporal database structure, existing geospatial data sources, Java, XML and a natural language data capture mechanism, TimeMaps allow historians to use their narrative skills to create visualizations of spatiotemporal data.
Date of Conference: 8-10 Sept. 2008