Working with Academic Researchers

Temporal Earth can create animations you can play in seminars or include as ‘supplementary online material’ with your next journal article. Although paper (or paper-equivalent PDF) has been the traditional mode for communicating research findings, it’s difficult to portray data that varies through space and time, especially at multiple scales.

Content development in the Temporal Earth project has involved consultations with researchers across many disciplines, and a deep dive into the literature of a vast range of academic topics – to name just a few:

  • historical geography
  • environmental history
  • museum studies
  • archaeology
  • geomorphology
  • geology
  • palaeontology
  • archives
  • art history
  • indigenous history
  • community histories

Whatever your sphere of academic inquiry, very likely we already have some background understanding and can speak your language. We know that research data often includes complexity and uncertainty, and can discuss ways to capture and present your data in a way that does justice to its true nature.

We would be happy to be involved with your research project from its inception through to publication. Typically this may involve:

  • Consult with you about capturing/transcribing quality data
  • Georeference your data against modern and historical sources
  • Generate a time-enabled animated visualisation of your dataset
  • Add additional animated layers for historical context
  • Capture a stand-alone video file that you can present or publish
  • Give your dataset dedicated URL on Time-Machine.Earth
  • Include your dataset into the Temporal Earth Collection

We would be very keen to consult with you from early on in your project, to share ideas on how a visualisation of final research findings could both educate and ‘wow’ your intended audience. We can ensure you capture quality, structured data, especially about associated places and dates. We will adapt to the modes in which you’re most comfortable working, whether that be a simple Excel spreadsheet, or a complex relational database.

We have plenty of experience with archive transcription, cross-referencing place-names with gazetteers, and the detective work needed to locate obscure historical places. We can also georeference maps and add time-spans to their contents to create an animated base-layer as context for your dataset.

We will devise a work-flow to convert your data into time-enabled KML-format compatible with Google Earth or many other geographical software packages. Even when you’ve collected only a small proportion of your data, we can give you an idea of how it’s going to look, and this may also help you identify errors and inconsistencies as your data-collection progresses.

This same KML file can also be loaded into our Temporal Earth Viewer, which makes it easy to explore your data at multiple scales in space and time. Turning on additional animated layers from the Temporal Earth Collection lets you see your data in the context of Australia’s colonial history, transport and communication networks, or even ancient geography over tens of thousands of years. We can provide you with a dedicated web-page with a URL you can share between collaborators, and eventually publicise to colleagues or the general public.

When you’re ready to publish, we can capture a stand-alone video that you can play in future lectures or seminars, or feature on a website. We can also help you script and record a voice-over to make the video self-explanatory.

Many journal repositories now encourage ‘Supplementary Online Material’ (SOM) to accompany your written article. We can provide still-frame maps that you can include within the article along with a caption that directs readers to the SOM. We can write an explanation of how the data was animated, which you can include within the article itself.