A unique solution to the data management
needs of Humanities researchers

HEURIST’s research-driven data management system allows any confident researcher or data manager to design, create, manage, analyse and publish their own richly-structured database(s) within hours, through a simple web interface, without need of programmers or consultants.

Use Sydney University’s free service (button below) to build a new database in minutes and a complete application in hours. Design and build incrementally; existing data are not affected. Nor are you locked in; migrate later to a personal or institutional server, or access data directly via SQL.

Whatever your field of study – History, Archaeology, Anthropology, Cultural Research, Linguistics, Media Studies etc. – HEURIST handles everything from text, tags and categories, through networks of rich relationships and offset annotations, to images, video, spatial data and dating (including non-western systems and dating uncertainty).

Get results: Sophisticated searches (including faceted and rule-based) can be saved, organised and rendered as layered interactive maps, timelines, network visualisations, cross-tabulations, lists, custom reports, XML and XSLT transforms, all of which can easily be printed or embedded (live) in a website.

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Designed by researchers, for researchers, HEURIST reduces complex underlying decisions to simple, logical choices.

See below for more information.

Low-Threshold – The intuitive, web-based interface allows any confident researcher to build a simple fully-functional database in minutes, and a complex one in hours, thanks to Heurist’s ability to import, and then adapt, a library of useful structures developed by other users. Simple forms with helpful tips provide for the easy creation of new entity types and relationships, addition and modification of fields, addition of new terms, data verification, bulk edits, data import and data export.

Adaptable – Heurist’s wealth of powerful and adaptable features extends its application to a wide range of scenarios. Current applications include: a text and media-rich public encyclopedia of historical content;  linked annotation and publication of literary works; artwork collections; medieval menus; field data collection via Android tablets; site survey data; complex stratified excavation data; content-rich life histories and connections; event records; bibliographic, administrative and job-tracking databases.

Incremental – Heurist allows you to get started immediately with something small and simple, and then modify and extend the structure later, as your data model and needs evolve, without affecting existing data.

Existing Data – Data can be imported from existing database tables or complex spreadsheets, with entity matching on one or more key fields and merging of data. Images and other files can be loaded in bulk and indexed. Zotero bibliographies can be synchronised to connect objects of study with full bibliographic references.

Sophisticated Search – From simple text searches to faceted searches and rules for retrieving a network of connections, Heurist provides numerous options for searching and filtering databases. Searches can be saved and re-used to analyse or publish subsets of the database.

Analysis & Visualisation – Rule-based network expansion, faceted searching, cross-tabulation analysis, interactive maps, timelines and network graphs provide summarisation and visualisation of data patterns. Various output formats and user-defined custom reports can feed subsets to mapping, graphics, statistics and other visualisation packages.

Web Publishing – Heurist’s analysis, visualisation and user-defined custom reports can be printed or published as live feeds to a web, CMS or blogging site; Heurist even writes the HTML/JS code for you to paste into your web page editor – no programming required. XML output can be transformed inline through style-sheets.

Collaboration – Collaborate online with other users through sharing, tagging, saved searches, messaging, record-level ownership and publishing control (while maintaining your personal tags, bookmarks, ratings & notes).

Sustainability & Access – Data is stored in a fixed format in the world’s most widely used Open Source SQL database, allowing independent access through any programming tools into the future. Heurist also supports fully-documented generic SQL queries, XML feeds, XSL transforms, and creates JSON, XML & SQL archive packages.