More and more archives and other historical collections are wanting to digitise their data nowadays. To be able to do this efficiently, a good tool is needed which can handle historical data. The European QVIZ project, coordinated from HUMlab, has developed a program which can structure and visualise this historical data quickly and easily.

The QVIZ project (Query and context based visualization of time-spatial cultural dynamics) began in 2006 and is largely financed by funding from the EU's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). The project was completed in 2008 and had a turnover of some SEK 22 million. The project included participants from the United Kingdom, Estonia, Spain, Sweden and Austria. The purpose of the project was to create a program which could easily and clearly sort and visualise digitised historical data such as digitised 19th century parish records.

The QVIZ platform can be used to display data from various historical databases in a range of ways and also to share it in social forums. The program is now used for handling data as part of the SEAD and SHiPS project, among other things.

QVIZ displays data in several different ways:

  • In a dynamic map: the program shows the geographical areas relating to the archive data. It is also possible to monitor how administrative divisions have changed over time.
  • With the aid of finely tuned searches: Researchers themselves can use QVIZ to work on the basis of time and space and so filter their searches further in order to capture the correct data. Historical databases often include enormous data volumes with huge numbers of parameters, and specialist knowledge may be required in order to extract precise data directly from the database. The QVIZ system makes it possible to query these complex databases more easily.
  • Via a timeline: As well as being able to display data from a specific geographical location, it is also possible to display data from a certain time or time span; an innovative timeline.
  • Via researchers' own bookmarks, or via the bookmarks of other researchers: the aim of QVIZ is not only to present data, but also to build up new knowledge. Researchers interested in a specific topic can structure and mark up the data they have retrieved out of the system. They - or other researchers in the same field - can then go back and use the data whenever they like.

Find out more at: http://qviz.eu/