Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Visualization of UWO library's historical holdings

I decided to create a visualization using IBM's program, "Many Eyes." This site allows users to input any kind of data you could imagine, and then graph or chart it in one of fifteen different ways.

I chose to look at the number of books on history that the University of Western Ontario library had on each country. To get this data I did a subject search for each country and "history" in the library catalogue and recorded the data. The result is this many eyes map (minus Colombia, Scotland and the USSR. I misspelled it "Columbia" and therefore got no results - my apologies to all those Colombians out there, and unfortunately Scotland and the USSR do not fit into the Many Eyes map so I elected to leave this data out).

It's interesting to see what countries get the most historical resources. Some results are surprising (123 books on Australia, but nothing resembling an Australian history course taught at the school) and some not (1,261 on Canada)


_ said...

Great job! This would be a great visual resource for Weldon to use in the future with all of its collections... perhaps an internship for the summer? :)

William J. Turkel said...

Nice work, bud. I'm sure you've spent many an evening reading through my past blog entries, but if not you might be interested in this one.