Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Coin Hoard Analysis

It has been nearly a year since any update whatsoever on the development of Numishare to disseminate and visualize information about coin hoards.  In May 2012, just before the Nomisma.org/European Coin Find Network meeting in Frankfurt, I briefly discussed the new XML schema I had been developing.

That post described our use of the highcharts javascript library to render typological information in the form of graphs.  That blog post contained an image of a column chart with the total occurrences of coins per issuer in a single hoard.  This basic functionality has been expanded in several ways:
  1. You can now compare up to six hoards at once with the chart visualization
  2. You can download data as a CSV, with no limit to the number of hoards one can select for this comparison
  3. Percentage of total has been added as a numeric response type (as a default) in addition to raw numeric count per typological attribute. This is a more accurate gauge of a hoard's contents, that is to say, 10 out of 10 coins (100%) being aurei is more telling than say, 12 coins in a hoard of 12,000.
  4. Visualization based on date has been introduced, with an option to view as a cumulative percentage.
  5. Charts can be printed and exported as JPG, PNG, PDF, and SVG files.

These features are now available in the trunk of the GitHub repository, and will be available to use when Kris Lockyear's Coin Hoards of the Roman Republic Numishare-based project is launched within the next few weeks.  This launch will take place before Kris and I head off to Perth for CAA 2013, where we will be presenting on the project: its evolution from dBASE III to XML/linked open data utilizing concepts defined by nomisma.org.

These analyses have enormous potential, and we are still at the tip of the iceberg for what is possible to do with these data. In the very least, these features enable scholars to conduct the quantitative analyses they have been accustomed to do for decades, only they may be executed in seconds instead of hours or days.

The thought processes that have gone into developing the XML schema and the development of Numishare to handle hoard data will be detailed in my MA thesis, which I plan to release openly and freely when I graduate in May.