Jon Christensen is a founder and principal investigator in the Spatial History Project
and the City Nature
digital humanities project at Stanford University, and former executive director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West
. In the fall of 2012, he will join the History Department
and the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he looks forward to working with the Center for Digital Humanities
Mapping Texts is an ambitious project with a simple mission: to experiment with new methods for finding and analyzing meaningful patterns embedded within massive collections of digitized historical newspapers.
Why do we think this is important?
In building Mapping Texts we wanted to create more transparent windows into the extraordinary wealth of information available in online archives of digitized historical newspapers. We wanted, for example, to be able to see how much information was available for any particular time and place, and then measure just how much of that information was still recognizable — and thus useable — after the digitization process.