The objective behind MEI has always been the visualisation of the circulation of books and of the texts they contain, over time and space. This innovative approach has been developed in MEI in order to better understand the trade routes of 15th-century books and the formation and dispersal of collections. For that purpose, all provenance data is geo-coordinated and chronologically tagged. Prof. Min Chen and Dr Simon Walton of the Oxford e-Research Centre have applied scientific visualisation techniques to MEI data, to overcome the challenge of expressing a combination of spacial and temporal movement.
Geographical visualisation is used by the project to communicate effectively the investigation on the trade networks of the editions printed by a certain printer (e.g. where was the Venetian printer Nicolas Jenson exporting to, and how?), or by a certain town (e.g. trading routes of Venetian booktrade), or of a certain work (e.g. production and reception of Pliny’s Natural History), or subject (e.g. production and reception of editions of Civil Law). A visualisation gallery will be created so that not only the team, but any other scholar or student will be able to use the images for teaching, or to prepare research papers on the distribution (and reception) of a certain text, edition, subject, or production area.
15cV, the visualisation tool applied to MEI and TEXT-inc, was launched in Oxford, Weston Library, on 23 June 2016. Guidelines on how to use it will be shortly provided on this webpage. A video on 15cV in action can be seen here.