Digital Humanities Software Tools

A librarian for American studies, anthropology , and sociology, Nancy K. Herther, has recently published an article in Computers in Libraries where she includes a good list of digital humanities tools.  Here are some links to these:

DH Press ( “DH Press is a plugin for WordPress that enables scholars to visualize their humanities-oriented data and allow users to access that data from the visualizations themselves. ”

Omeka ( Omeka provides open-source web publishing platforms for sharing digital collections and creating media-rich online exhibits.

Scaler 2  ( media-rich, scholarly electronic publishing) – media-rich, scholarly electronic publishing

Chronos Timeline ( Chronos is a flexible jQuery plug developed by HyperStudio Digital Humanities at MIT.

TimelineJS ( an open-source tool that enables anyone to build visually rich, interactive timelines.

Historypin ( a community archiving platform .

QGIS ( A Free and Open Source Geographic Information System.

Concordle  ( “Concordle has one point common with Wordle: it makes word clouds. But these are only text, and in a browser in general the choice of fonts is limited, so the clouds are not so very pretty. But it is much more clever:  All the words in the cloud are clickable, i.e. they have links to concordancer function. ”

Netlytic  ( “a community-supported text and social networks analyzer that can automatically summarize and discover social networks from online conversations on social media sites”

Palladio  ( Stanford University’s online visualization tool that take CSV files and SPARQL endpoints (beta) as input.

Prism  ( a tool for “crowdsourcing interpretation.” Users are invited to provide an interpretation of a text by highlighting words according to different categories, or “facets.”

Tableau ( this is a well known data visualization tool, especially popular in business.

Umigon ( Semantic analysis on Twitter.

Voyant Tools ( One of the DH text analysis tools listed in a previous post.

IIIF Open Source Developments

IIIF (International Image Interoperability Framework)  is a community of research libraries and image repositories working on interoperable technology and community framework for image delivery with the goals of uniform and rich access to image-based resources, common APIs for image repositories that enable great user experience while viewing, comparing, manipulating and annotating images and provide uniform rich access to image resources hosted online.

The framework for IIIF development has been its Image API ( that allows for the retrieval of pixels through a REST web service and Presentation API ( that drives viewing interfaces.   In addition, there is a Search API ( and Authentication API (  The APIs use JSON-LD ( throughout.

IIIF Image Servers:

IIIF Image API Viewers:

IIIF Presentation API Viewers :

The full list of viewers is available here:

Demonstration IIIF sites:





Digital humanities text analysis tools

Distant Reading & Text Analysis

The Versioning Machine ( is a framework and an interface for displaying multiple versions of text encoded according to the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) Guidelines

Voyant Tools ( web-based reading and analysis environment for digital texts.

Twine ( an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories. You don’t need to write any code to create a simple story with Twine, but you can extend your stories with variables, conditional logic, images, CSS, and JavaScript when you’re ready.

Spoken audio analysis tools

Open  Source

WaveSurfer ( an open source tool for sound visualization and manipulation. Typical applications are speech/sound analysis and sound annotation/transcription. WaveSurfer may be extended by plug-ins as well as embedded in other applications.

Praat: doing phonetics by computer (


Gentle ( aligners are computer programs that take media files and their transcripts and return extremely precise timing information for each word (and phoneme) in the media. Drift ( ) output: pitch and timing.  It samples what human listeners perceive as vocal pitch.

Kaldi (  a toolkit for speech recognition written in C++ and licensed under the Apache License v2.0. Kaldi is intended for use by speech recognition researchers.

SonicVisualizer ( an application  for viewing and analysis of contents of music audio files.

Audacity (  a free, easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems.

SIDA ( Speaker Identification for Archives. Includes a notebook that walks through the steps of training and running a classifier that takes speaker labels and the audio, extracts features (including vowels), and trains a model and runs it.

Audio Labeler ( An in-browser app for labeling audio clips at random, using Docker and Flask

ARLO ( was developed for classifying bird calls and using visualizations to help scholars classify pollen grains. ARLO has the ability to extract basic prosodic features such as pitch, rhythm and timbre for discovery (clustering) and automated classification (prediction or supervised learning), as well as visualizations. The current implementation of ARLO for modeling runs in parallel on systems at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). The source code for ARLO is open-source and will be made available for research purposes for this and subsequent projects on sourceforge at

Not open source, but available for academic use:

STRAIGHT ( a tool for manipulating voice quality, timbre, pitch, speed and other attributes flexibly. It is an always evolving system for attaining better sound quality, that is close to the original natural speech, by introducing advanced signal processing algorithms and findings in computational aspects of auditory processing.

STRAIGHT decomposes sounds into source information and resonator (filter) information. This conceptually simple decomposition makes it easy to conduct experiments on speech perception using STRAIGHT, the initial design objective of this tool, and to interpret experimental results in terms of huge body of classical studies.

Online Services:


Pop Up Archive ( is a platform of tools for organizing and searching digital spoken word. Processing sound for a wide range of customers, from large archives and universities to media companies, radio stations, and podcast networks. Drag and drop any audio file (or let us ingest your RSS, SoundCloud, or iTunes feed), and within minutes receive automatically generated transcripts and tags. 

Welcome to the Photomedia BLOG

The FORUM on this site has been shut down, but my posts to the forum have been migrated/archived to this blog.  These posts are organized under the “Forum Archive” category, further classified by year of the post, and the original category, like “Film” or “Design“.  At the end of each post that was migrated over, there is a statement with the original date of the post, for example:

[Photomedia Forum post by T.Neugebauer from Feb 22, 2012 ]

The forum was initially created by customizing an early version of the open source phpBB software, around 2005. More than 12 years ago, web publishing/content management systems were still relatively new and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter were just beginning to come into existence.  The motivation for a Forum rather than a blog at that time was the possibility of managing discussion threads.  However, I ended up using the Forum as a blog more than a discussion Forum.  I’m making the transition official now, welcome to the Photomedia BLOG!

Science/tech/university podcasts

EDX -Founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012, edX is an online learning destination and MOOC provider, offering high-quality courses from the world’s best universities and institutions to learners everywhere.

University of Bath in the UK has this Podcasts of Public Lecture Series.


Nature has its podcast archive.

Stanford on iTunes – Faculty lectures, interviews, music and sports.

University of Washington’s Cryptography Course

CSE P 590TU – Practical Aspects of Modern Cryptography – Plus related lecture slides and video archives.

Computer Science video lectures

Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
Introduction to Algorithms + Course website

University of Washington:
Programming Languages + Course website
Applications of Artificial Intelligence + Course website
Computer Architecture + Course website

ArsDigita University (curriculum):
Web Applications
Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
Object Oriented Program Design
Theory of Computation
Artificial Intelligence


 Scientific American

Scientific American (podcasts) from a popular science magazine,

the oldest continuously published magazine in the U.S., […] bringing its readers unique insights about developments in science and technology for more than 150 years.

source: sciam

more University podcasts

MIT OpenCourseWare

Princeton University: WebMedia – Lectures

Tufts OpenCourseWare

Rice University: Live Webcasts & Archives

University of British Columbia Podcasts

University of Warwick podcasts

Utah State University OpenCourseWare


Openculture Master List of 1150 Free Courses

1150 free online courses from the world’s leading universities — Stanford, Yale, MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, Oxford and more. Over 30,000 hours of free audio and video.

Findlectures: faceted index to thousands of hours of free online lectures

A curated database of free lectures, over 20,000 hours of audio,

[Edited from Photomedia Forum post by T.Neugebauer from 2006-2016 ]

Nobel Prize in Physics for Inventors of CCD

Willard Boyle and George Smith received the Nobel prize for their part in the invention of the charge-coupled device (CCD), the light detector used in digital cameras. The invention goes back to 1969. They used a metal oxide semiconductor to convert photons into a flow of electrons.

Smith and Boyle have already received the C&C prize for their invention in 1999. A press release from Bell Labs describes the CCD:

The device they invented stores information, represented by discrete packets of electric charge, in columns of closely spaced semiconductor capacitors. With multiple columns side by side, a CCD chip can record images. Reading out the information – for processing, display, or more permanent storage – is accomplished by shifting stored charges down the columns, one position at a time. The CCD’s sensitivity to light, coupled to this method of storing and reading out information, makes it a versatile and robust optical detector.

By 1970, the Bell Labs researchers had built the CCD into the world’s first solid-state video camera. In 1975, they demonstrated the first CCD camera with image quality sharp enough for broadcast television.

source: Bell Labs, September, 1999

The Nobel Lectures in Physics will be held on Tuesday, 8 December 2009, at the Aula Magna, Stockholm University and the lectures will be published at

Unfortunately, I could not find the the original 1970 paper online:

W.S. Boyle and G.E. Smith. “Charge Coupled Semiconducting Devices” Bell Sys. Tech. J. 49 (April, 1970). p.387-595

[Photomedia Forum post by T.Neugebauer from Oct 06, 2009  ]

Missing lunar camera footage from 1969 Moon walk

The lunar camera footage recorded in July of 1969 of the first Moon walk had to be converted for the live television broadcast which degraded the images. It was first reported in 2006 by NPR that the original higher quality footage preserved by engineers on tapes were missing, triggering a 3 year search by NASA. The result of the search showed that the tapes are permanently gone, likely overwritten:

And the agency was experiencing a critical shortage of magnetic tapes. So NASA started erasing old ones and reusing them.

That’s probably what happened to the original footage from the moon that the astronauts captured with their lunar camera, says Lebar. It was stored on telemetry tapes, and old tapes with telemetry data were being recycled.

“So I don’t believe that the tapes exist today at all,” says Lebar. “It was a hard thing to accept. But there was just an overwhelming amount of evidence that led us to believe that they just don’t exist anymore. And you have to accept reality.”

NPR – Houston, We Erased The Apollo 11 Tapes

To see the results of NASA’s restoration efforts based on material that they were able to find, go to

[Photomedia Forum post by T.Neugebauer from Jul 27, 2009  ]


Science 2.0?

The CTWatch article The Coming Revolution in Scholarly Communications & Cyberinfrastructure predicts dramatic changes to peer-review as a result of the web

For all but a very small number of widely read titles, the day of the print journal seems to be almost over. Yet to see this development as the major impact of the web on science would be extremely narrow-minded – equivalent to viewing the web primarily as an efficient PDF distribution network. Though it will take longer to have its full effect, the web’s major impact will be on the way that science itself is practiced.

The list of references of the above article contains links to many of the new scientific communications applications.

Are social web applications capable of transforming the way in which peer-review is carried out?

The following are references to recent articles about the social web applications in science:

Science 2.0: Great New Tool, or Great Risk? Wikis, blogs and other collaborative web technologies could usher in a new era of science. Or not. By M. Mitchell Waldrop

Science happens not just because of people doing experiments, but because they’re discussing those experiments,” explains Christopher Surridge, editor of the Web-based journal, Public Library of Science On-Line Edition (PLoS ONE). Critiquing, suggesting, sharing ideas and data–communication is the heart of science, the most powerful tool ever invented for correcting mistakes, building on colleagues’ work and creating new knowledge. And not just communication in peer-reviewed papers; as important as those papers are, says Surridge, who publishes a lot of them, “they’re effectively just snapshots of what the authors have done and thought at this moment in time. They are not collaborative beyond that, except for rudimentary mechanisms such as citations and letters to the editor.

Scholarship 2.0: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

[Photomedia Forum post by T.Neugebauer from Mar 25, 2008 ]