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Nano-History is a cultural network building environment where historians and scholars, or anyone, can document the connections between people, organizations, places, and things over time. It’s built on a very simple concept – that the smallest element we can document as historical data is an event, or interaction. Defining an event can be rather messy, but Nano-History’s model (based on the Networked Event Model) sees it as something that doesn’t necessarily have a title or a name – it just is. Our approach uses verbs (Nanohistory - Verbs) to preserve agency and to try and keep your events human-readable. When we stick countless events together involving any number of people, organizations, places, and things, the result is a cultural network that reflects the kinds of interactions and situations people have in everyday life. They meet for drinks, they write books, they live in places, and they create and produce new objects.
Nano-history is also a response to the accessibility of Open Data. One of the problems scholars are facing is not only the sheer amount of data now available, but how to use it effectively. This means turning from being consumers of Open Access data into producers and mashers. Nano-History allows users to pull data from existing resources and mash it up with their own. Or critique it. It’s meant to be both a kind of middleware for Open Data, as much as a tool for doing your work.
Nano-History builds on my work with Making Publics and the SSHRC 2012-13 RDF Project. The aim is to create a project-agnostic platform using the tools in the Making Publics website. You'll notice the relationship between the two projects.