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SPHINx 2017 : SPatial Humanities meets Spatial INformation Theory: Space, Place, and Time in Humanities Research


When Sep 4, 2017 - Sep 4, 2017
Where L'Aquila, Italy
Submission Deadline May 12, 2017
Notification Due Jun 16, 2017
Final Version Due Jun 28, 2017
Categories    digital humanities   giscience   spatial information theory   spatial humanities

Call For Papers

SPHINx 2017 Workshop

SPatial Humanities meets Spatial INformation Theory:
Space, Place, and Time in Humanities Research

A pre-conference workshop at COSIT 2017 (
September 4, 2017
L'Aquila, Italy


Humanities disciplines such as history, classical studies, literary studies, and philology have in recent years experienced a “spatial turn” similar to that begun in prior decades within the social sciences and archaeology. Many researchers in these fields are now explicitly recording the spatial and temporal attributes of their data and mapping them for visual analysis and argumentation. In many cases they are also performing spatial or spatial-temporal computations, including but not limited to viewshed, network, and cluster analyses, and agent-based and other models and simulations are increasingly common. The software used for this work is the same as that used for the environmental and social sciences: desktop GIS and specialized spatial and natural language processing libraries for the Python and R languages. These new spatial researchers are experiencing the same representational and analytic challenges in studying geographical dynamics that are well known to other disciplines, but they also face distinctive issues related to the nature of historical humanities data. Furthermore, epistemologies associated with new quantitative approaches must be reconciled with their traditional methodological practices.

Spatial information theorists and geographic information scientists have not normally drawn from humanities research cases for their development of theoretical models or the specific software and systems built upon such models. It is our belief the time is ripe for fruitful dialog between these groups.

To further and encourage such dialog, we invite papers that explicitly address one or more of these distinctive issues, particularly in the context of active or recent humanities research:
• computing over sparse and uncertain data, e.g., the life courses of historical individuals
• comparing and conflating conflicting assertions about the same phenomena from multiple sources
• representing and analyzing place as experienced space
• theorizing historical events and processes and their formal representation as spatial-temporal data, in simple, useful indexing and reasoning systems
• building digital historical gazetteers, challenges for which include:
o automated and machine-assisted discovery of place references in historical texts
o place and place-name disambiguation
o representing not only real world places but fictional or speculative ones
• formalizing complex spatio-temporal relations (e.g., topological) in texts; modeling entities with evidence of multi-space, multi-time properties
• integrated methods for performing textual analysis with spatial analysis
• scaling of discovery methods for aggregate analyses on very large collections
• place sentiment analysis
• computational narrative analysis as it relates to space and place
• cartographic representations of historical textual information


We are accepting short paper submissions (6-8 pages, including tables, figures, and references) on the topics of interest described above. We encourage paper submissions from researchers working on these issues from any disciplinary perspective. All articles must be prepared using either the Springer Word Document Template or the Springer Latex Document Template (contributed books): More general information for your camera-ready manuscript preparation can be found in the Manuscript Guidelines and Key Style Points and on the website of Springer.

The workshop proceedings will be published in a combined volume with the other COSIT workshop proceedings. It will be published by Springer, in the series Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography ( ).

Submissions should be made through the EasyChair website at the following link:


Papers due: May 12
Notification of acceptance: June 16
Camera-ready papers due: June 28
Workshop date: September 4


Benjamin Adams (University of Canterbury)
Karl Grossner (World Heritage Web)
Olga Chesnokova (University of Zurich)


Andrea Ballatore (Birkbeck, University of London)
Elton Barker (The Open University)
Daniel Blank (University of Bamberg)
Tom Brughmans (University of Konstanz)
Curdin Derungs (University of Zurich)
Chris Donaldson (Lancaster University)
Tom Elliott (New York University)
Leif Isaksen (Lancaster University)
Krzysztof Janowicz (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Chris Jones (Cardiff University)
Glauco Mantegari (Independent scholar, Milan)
Bruno Martins (University of Lisbon)
Ruth Mostern (University of Pittsburgh)
Patricia Murrieta-Flores (University of Chester)
Adam Rabinowitz (University of Texas, Austin)
Kieron Smith (Cardiff University)
Rainer Simon (Austrian Institute of Technology)
Joanna Taylor (Lancaster University)

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