Task 2 : From Data to Research

Aim: to design and produce a “private” datascape for the usage of the members of the project.

In charge: Pierre Gervais

Deliverables: Specifications of the private datascape in mid-2014 / First release end of 2014 / Final version of the private datascape in mid-2015 / Methodology conference at the end of 2015

In the process of adapting the data to research questions, we will have the occasion of putting this database in relation with similar external trade databases for other European countries/regions – Great Britain and the Austrian Netherlands – and also with maritime and merchant databases like MARPROF, NAVIGOCORPUS and the Sound Toll Register databases. To do that, we will have to tackle a number of difficulties regarding comparing merchandise names, weights and measures. The main datascape methodolgy has already been described (see p. 17).

We will start by setting up the specifications of the datascape. That should be done both by social scientists (with a preeminent role for Pierre Gervais) and digital method specialists (Paul Girard and the person we will hire at Sciences-Po). It should be achieved by mid-2014. This will provide at least preliminary solutions to the issues of the specification of the datasources; the way collaboration between social scientists will be organized (e.g. how to organize off-line work) ; what will be the preliminary classification strategies? ; How will links between individual and collective classifications be organized? ; What can of use do we want to encourage? What kind of visualisation tools will be developed?

The datascape will then be developed to allow for a first release to the members of the consortium in the second half of 2014. In 2015, the merchandise datascape team will have to import materials from the transcribed trade database and monitor the use of the datascape by social science researchers. That will lead to changes in the original project. We plan a final release of the datascape in mid-2015.

A workshop centered on the datascape and its potential uses will be organized at the end of 2015.

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