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  • 3 minutes read
  • Nov 11, 2020

Palladio is a digital tool used for network graphs that uses data-driven tools for analyzing relationships across time. This project was developed through Stanford’s Humanities and Design. The project’s  goal was to understand how to design graphical interfaces based on humanistic inquiry. The project focused on the development of a general-purpose suite of visualization and analytical tools. This digital tool has various options within the project to visualize a user’s data in an engaging and interactive manner. Palladio also has a feature to visually represent data in a map format similar to the format we explored last week called

A user will start with a file of data, in my example I have used the Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1938 which contains more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery.  These narratives were collected in the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers’ Project (FWP) of the Works Progress Administration, later renamed Work Projects Administration (WPA). A user will drop in the file and click the load button to upload your data to the site. Once the user has their data in the site, a user can start to manipulate the data to see different visual representations of that data in different network graphs. A user is able to change the names of the data tables and the project itself. A user is able to import more data tables when you enter the edit dimension feature on the primary table. Once you upload all of the data you wish to analyze, you can start creating different network graphs to visualize that data.

In the top left corner of the site their is a ‘graph’ link, once you click on that, you will be brought to the network graph feature. A user will be presented with the settings box on the right hand side that will guide the user. There are the ‘source’ and the ‘target’ dropdowns which will determine how the data will be displayed. The network graph shows the relationships between the source data and the target data through visual links. In my example I used ‘where interviewed’ as the source and ‘where enslaved’ as the target. I wanted to see the relationship between between where the interviewees were enslaved to where they were interviewed. This allowed me to see relevant amount of how many people where in the same location as where they were enslaved and interviewed. The size of the ‘nodes’ is according to the number of the interviews. By changing the data in the source and target dropdowns, that will change the network graph and show the user a different visual representation of their data.

A few great features about Palladio in the graph portion of the site, is the ‘highlight’, ‘show links’, and ‘size nodes’. These little features can enhance a user’s network graph significantly. the highlight feature allows a user to either highlight the nodes from the source or target data. This can help to see which nodes are part of which data. By engaging the size nodes feature, a user will be able to see the relative size of the data according to the dropdown menu options. The show links option shows a user the links between the data in a visual manner.

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