Tag Archives: Information Technologies

ALCIDE: working on maps

Our main effort today (and not only today!) is on the ALCIDE (Analysis of Languange and Content In a Digital Environment) platform.

The goal of this project is to enhance historical research, in particular the analysis of political discourse,¬†with state-of-the-art natural language processing technologies. In the early stage of the project, we focused on the writings and speeches of Alcide De Gasperi, one of the founders of the Italian Republic. More recently, we have moved to the automatic analysis of 1960 US presidential campaign, processing Kennedy’s and Nixon’s speeches.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Therefore, as an example of ALCIDE’s functionalities, we show below the plot of the different locations covered by the candidates during the presidential campaign. Can anyone explain why Nixon visited only few times the West Coast compared to Kennedy?

Locations covered by Kennedy during his campaign: marker dimension is related to the number of speeches in each location
Locations covered by Nixon during his campaign: marker dimension is related to the number of speeches in each location

Based on the place of publication of De Gasperi’s public documents, ALCIDE can also show the places he visited more frequently during his activity. Enjoy!

Heat map of De Gasperi’s writings locations of publication

How do we define DH?

DH is the field in which Humanities and Information Technologies can interact and support each other.

On one side Humanistic competences can help Human Language Technologies to tackle one of the most difficult challenges of the discipline, which is the handling of the semantics of human language texts.

On the other side Information Technologies can support research activities where the analysis of texts and images plays a crucial role and that are traditionally qualified as Humanistic (e.g. Historical and Literary Studies; Cultural Heritage).