Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Mining for meanings

Photo: Cath Styles
Went to the NLA last night to listen to the excellent Tim Sherratt give his Harold White Fellowship preso on Mining for meanings (the first slide is blank - click rightwards to see).

Tim's preso was entertaining funny and deeply interesting. I'm not going to summarise it but to make a different and equally serious point. A lot of this text mining work was done on a laptop with scripts.

No Amazon elastic compute, no farms of VM's crunching data, just a laptop, some inspiration and access to some large data sets.

We often talk about 'citizen science' and that usually brings up a picture of geeky individuals doing species censuses. What Tim has shown is that given time and inspiration it is possible to do citizen data science.

As I've said elsewhere the tools are there. The datasets are starting to be there. All that's needed is the inspiration ...

[Update: and if you want to listen to Tim's preso the audio is online at at the NLA website. ]

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