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Visualization of Historical Data with PALLADIO

In this blog post, I will introduce Palladio as the third of my network analysis article series. A group of researchers from CESTA's (Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis) Humanities + Design Lab at Stanford University designed a general-purpose, web-based, and user-friendly visualization and analysis tool. You can create and generate maps, graphs, tables, and timelines through Palladio.

If you have tabular data on your computer and network connection, using the Palladio interface to represent connections across space and time is enough. It is easy to use, but please remember that you could not create a more sophisticated network analysis through Palladio.

Let’s examine Palladio together!

When you open Palladio, please click Start.

Then you will see the following Palladio interface that you would paste or drag your data here. It is also possible directly type your data into the interface. Palladio supports any data that also have commas, semicolons, and tabs.

For this blog post, I will use a dataset from the master thesis of Fatma Aladağ that includes the regions and cities of Ottoman Anatolia in 1513.[1]

After entering your data into the Palladio interface, please do not forget to click Load.

If your data has a delimiter that Palladio does not support, you will see a red circle on the right of the relevant variable.

When you click on the unsupported dataset, coordinates, for this case, you would see the problematic data. As you see from the following screenshot, Palladio does identify commas as decimal separators. You must use the decimal point (.) and separate latitude and longitude by a comma like 31.22, 40.459987.

After arranging and re-upload the data, you must see the Palladio interface as follows.

You can edit your data in the pop-up window by clicking on them.

There are five data types naming the text, number, date, coordinates, and URL.

To create the map, firstly you must click on Map from the menu bar in the upper left corner.

Then, you must add a New layer.

You can design your map from the pop-up window.

Your data will show up on your map.

After plotting the points, you can adjust the point sizes according to the occurrence.

Then your map will show up as follows.

If you have two sets of place data, that is a source and a target location, then you would also create a point-to-point map.

You can also change base map layers.

Palladio also enables you to create a bivariate graph for the representation of connections between two dimensions. For this, you must determine your source and target dimensions by clicking Graph from the menu bar in the upper left corner. Then you could edit your graph view from Settings.

You can change your source and target dimensions and re-organize your graph. Nodes that have more connections are shown as centrally oriented, and nodes that have fewer or no connections are seen on the periphery by default.

It is also possible to filter your data from the Facet. If it is applicable to your data, you can also create Timeline and Timespan filter.

When you choose Table from the menu bar in the upper left corner, you could arrange your data as rows and columns (dimensions).

In this blog post, I tried to summarize the main features of Palladio for you. To discover the details and more, please visit Palladio.

[1]Fatma Aladağ, “Cities and Administrative Divisions of the Ottoman Empire in the Early 16th Century: A Case Study for the Application of Digital History to Ottoman Studies” (Istanbul, Istanbul Şehir University, Unpublished Master Thesis, 2020), 81.


University of Antwerp PhD Candidate

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