Objectives, Challenges and Funding
Persée organized its first hackathon on June 1-3, 2018 entitled “Perseus Up!” at the Tour du Web in Lyon with the objective of devising innovative solutions in terms of visualization interfaces and exploration of its digital collections.
This event received financial support from DARIAH-EU within the framework of the DARIAH Theme 2017 call on Cultural Heritage and Humanities Research and the ENS de Lyon. It was part of the Off program of TheWebConference2018 which took place in Lyon at the same time. Persée also received organizational support from the volunteers of the Museomix-AURA association.
Persée‘ staff were mobilized not only in the preparation and organization phase but also during the three days of the event: developers, communication officer, research partnerships officer, collection manager.
For three days, coders, researchers, designers, scientific and technical information specialists, assisted by Persée experts and Muséomix-AURA facilitators, combined their talents, know-how and motivation to meet the challenges set by Persée:
1. Improve the browsing experience:
- by moving away from the traditional logic of browsing by consulting a list of search results
- by exploiting the richness of the documentary typology of the digitized documents
- by exploiting all alignments with the selected external repositories
2. Use geo-visualization:
- graphically exploit the geographical information contained in the Persée data
- by enriching Persée ‘ content with external geographical information (GeoNames, etc)
3. Transform the image search:
- by proposing a specific device to search for the illustrations present within the digitized documents
- by inventing a new way of visualizing and contextualizing these illustrations by linking them with external resources
All the metadata of the Persée portal and specific datasets were also made available.
The scientific day
The first day was an opportunity to meet three specialists in the field of data visualization:
- Vincent Chollier, PhD in Egyptology and associate researcher at the HISOMA laboratory, talked about the challenges and constraints of network analysis in his discipline;
- Tommaso Venturini, Researcher-Associate at the Medialab of SciencePo Paris, gave an overview on the mathematical origin of network analysis and focused on the available means to visually and effectively explore networks;
- Romain Vuillemot, Professor-Researcher at the Ecole centrale de Lyon, focused on prototyping methods and tools that make transforming models into interactive visualizations possible.
The second part of the day was dedicated to the Persée portal and its functionalities, the data formats and models used, the digital collections and their documentary richness and finally the triplestore data.persee.fr. This session was facilitated by members of Persée team.
At the end of this day, the 25 participants, divided into 4 teams, imagined four functional prototypes responding to four use cases proposed by scientists and users of the Persée portal:
- ANNOTATE: How can users of the Persée portal browse without going through search results lists?
Within a list of search results, a user selects a first document that seems most relevant to him/her. In the full text of this document, academic concepts and authors are highlighted. By clicking, a box appears with information about this concept or author and with, for example, a link to the discipline(s) in Persée. When you click on the discipline, a new search is launched by integrating the term of the first search in this selected discipline.
- GRAPH EXPLORER: How to create an interface that allows, from a search on the Persée portal, to easily explore the results in the form of a visualised graph?
From an author or a document found on the portal, the user clicks on a “View graph” button. The document or the person then appears as an icon in the “graph” and it is combined with a descriptive sheet. The user can then request the authors, collections or linked documents and browse from entity to entity. The screen is organized in two parts: on the left part, the graph is displayed; on the right, the descriptive sheets follow one another through the selected entities. This prototype works thanks to SPARQL language requests coupled with the Spoggy prototype already developed by a Persée team member.GEO-PERSEE: How to access the results of a search through a geographical map by freeing oneself from particular designs and denominations?
- GEO-PERSEE: How to access the results of a search through a geographical map by freeing oneself from particular designs and denominations?
The idea is to display on a map points corresponding to places associated with the search term (e. g. “vase” in Italy). This prototype was developed for mobile use. The points are obtained either by a search or by simple display according to the (geo-)location of the user. This prototype is based on Google Maps, Wikidata and the Cairo Gazetteer as repositories for the locations.MY PERSEE TOUR: How can we meet the needs of tourists seeking to prepare a scientific trip to a given place?
- MY PERSEE TOUR: How can we meet the needs of tourists seeking to prepare a scientific trip to a given place?
The idea is to offer a mobile application of a customizable scientific travel guide allowing the prior downloading of articles associated with a trip. From a given GPS position or from a location search or on a particular route, the user will be able to obtain illustrations and documents from Persée‘ digital collections dealing with the geographical area in question. Editorial content from the Persée portal entitled “Selection of the month” will also be available. The application was coded in Swift 4.1 for IOs and made portable for Android.
The days combined teamwork, knowledge exchange and pitch times during which the different teams presented their work, their ideas and their difficulties.
25 people participated in the hackathon:
- IT developers : 40%
- Librarians : 32%
- Researchers : 16%
- Web designers : 12%