Monday, August 08, 2011

The (Early Modern) Revolution Will Be Crowd-sourced?

Worlds collide.  For following changes in a region stretching roughly from Morocco to Iran (which I follow myself at Small Ax), my current fave blog is iRevolution, which shows how innovation and technology such as Crisis Mapping or Crowdsourcing can be used both to understand the changes and to impel the changes themselves.  It has struck me how some of these techniques might be used by historians although we rarely have datasets as big as those.  For example, Analyzing the Libya Crisis Map Data in 3D (Video), would be fascinating to apply to, say, incidents mentioned for one year in one or two newspapers from the 1640s. (Blogger "A Trumpet of Sedition," who seems particularly focused on the mid-century revolutions, might consider how such techniques might help understand the revolutionary era from a post-revisionist stance.)

Now, iRevolution has posted Crowdsourcing Solutions and Crisis Information during the Renaissance which suggests how crowdsourcing was used in the past, in this case, to aggregate pamphlet reporting on the 1607 Severn inlet floods.  Turns out of course there already is a website for the Great Flood of 1607 with a great set of sources on same.

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