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Panel at DARIAH 2022: Heurist as a Platform for Data-Driven Storytelling

June 1, 2022 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm UTC+2

Session Chair: Michael Falk1

Panellists:Ian Johnson1, Sylvia Melzer2, Mark Towsey3, L.C. Santangelo4

1University of Sydney, Australia; 2Universität Hamburg, Germany; 3University of Liverpool, UK; 4United States Military Academy at West Point, USA


Heurist is a data management platform for Humanities scholars, hosted at the University of Sydney since 2005 (Johnson 2008; Searle and Johnson 2014; “Home” n.d.). Using Heurist, researchers can create flexible, robust and sustainable research databases on the web. Though originally conceived as a data management tool, Heurist has evolved over the years into a platform for data-driven storytelling.

Heurist enables data-driven storytelling through its library of widgets. Heurist widgets can be embedded on a project’s website, allowing the researcher to present their data in an interactive and structured way. In the backend interface, the researcher can choose which records to make public, define ‘Filters’, ‘Rulesets’ and ‘Faceted Searches’ that enable visitors to navigate the database, and create ‘Custom Reports’ that determine how records are displayed. These Filters, RuleSets, Faceted Searches and Custom Reports can then be arranged on the website using Heurist widgets.

This panel will commence with an introduction by Dr Ian Johnson, Heurist’s designer, who will explain the philosophy of Heurist’s ‘widgets’ and describe our new work on multi-channel StoryMaps. Three Heurist users will then present their experience on data-driven storytelling in Heurist at all stages of the project life-cycle. Dr Sylvia Melzer will introduce ‘databasing on demand’, a framework that allows users to rapidly convert their research data into a Heurist database for publication. Prof Mark Towsey will report on Libraries, Reading Communities and Cultural Formation in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic, an AHRC-funded project that is using a range of different visualisations to tell the story of Eighteenth-Century reading practices. Finally, Dr L.C. Santangelo will present Mapping the Suffrage Metropolis, a carefully curated website that presents the story of the women’s suffrage movement in New York City in three interactive maps.


June 1, 2022
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm UTC+2
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