Monday, August 26, 2019

Biographical Mapping

RambleOn is a very interesting experiment to map the locations mentioned in the Wikipedia entries of historically important individuals. The interactive map uses Natural Language Processing to determine the locations mentioned in Wikipedia entries in order to plot the biographical movements of an individual. The online version on RambleOn currently allows you to explore the life trajectories of famous historical figures who lived in the first half of the 20th Century.

You can search the map for individual notable people by using the search tools in the map side-panel. These allow you to search for famous individuals by nationality, individual Wikipedia country domain, or by name. The online version of RambleOn only allows you to explore the life trajectories of the 20th Century individuals already mapped. However if you download the standalone version, RambleON Navigator, you can also enter the movements of any individual with a Wikipedia entry to map their life trajectory.

To create individual mapped life trajectories RambleOn carries out Natural Language Processing on an individual's Wikipedia entry. This processing identifies dates and locations in a Wikipedia entry. The locations are then geocoded using Nominatim. The dates and geocoded locations are then output to a JSON file which is then read and mapped by the RambleOn interactive map. If you interested in the actual code behind this process then you can explore the project on GitHub.

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