Digital Research Tools Wiki

I came across the DiRT page this morning, run by Lisa Spiro. What an awesome resource! If you know of tools that are useful in your own research, suggest them to Lisa and get them listed on this page. From the front:

This wiki collects information about tools and resources that can help scholars (particularly in the humanities and social sciences) conduct research more efficiently or creatively.  Whether you need software to help you manage citations, author a multimedia work, or analyze texts, Digital Research Tools will help you find what you’re looking for. We provide a directory of tools organized by research activity, as well as reviews of select tools in which we not only describe the tool’s features, but also explore how it might be employed most effectively by researchers.

Please provide feedback on DiRT and recommend tools not included here (yet).

If you’re interested in contributing to this wiki, please email Lisa Spiro at  Please see Guidelines for Contributors to learn how to add new information to the wiki.

I love how it is organized by asking what it is you want to do.  While focussed on the humanities and social sciences, there is a distinct lack of Agent Modeling or other simulation tools, which I suppose indicates that simulation hasn’t made great inroads amongst the digital humanities set yet.

Some great dynamic map tools though!


  • ArcGIS: “an integrated collection of GIS software products that provides a standards-based platform for spatial analysis, data management, and mapping” (Commercial, Windows)
  • GeoNames: “GeoNames geographical database covers all countries and contains over eight million placenames that are available for download free of charge.” (Free, web-based)
  • Google Earth: “Google Earth lets you fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, from galaxies in outer space to the canyons of the ocean. You can explore rich geographical content, save your toured places, and share with others.” (Free, with Pro version available; PC/Mac/Linux)
  • Google Maps: allows you to view maps and directions, with practical applications for transportation and diverse viewing options to further specify location (Free, web-based)
  • Open Street Map: “a free, editable map of the whole world…allows you to view, edit and use geographical data in a collaborative way from anywhere on Earth” (Free, web-based)
  • Platial: “the world’s largest social map service…hundreds of thousands of people around the world share and discover all kinds of Places. Anyone can map just about anything including their towns, lives, travels, feeds, files, photos, video and stories in one simple interface…Maps are free and can be embedded on any Web page” (Free, web-based)
  • TimeMap: A Java-based client-server/standalone temporal mapping applet for distributed datasets, developed by the Archaeological Computing Laboratory at the University of Sydney (Open Source or support license)
  • UUorld: a program that “provides an immersive mapping environment, high-quality data, and critical analysis tools” through the production of four-dimensional, interactive maps (Free, with Pro version available; Windows/Mac/Linux)
  • Yahoo! Map Mixer: allows you to create your own basic map, view maps and directions, and search existing maps (Free, web-based)


Examples of Usage:

  • PoliMap: Will Riley’s students gathered location data about politicians using a Google spreadsheet and mapped it on a Google Map



3 thoughts on “Digital Research Tools Wiki

  1. Thanks for the comments about DiRT, Shawn! We’d love to add a section about simulation and agent modeling tools. Please let me know if there are specific tools you would suggest–or, better yet, if you’d like to edit a section of DiRT devoted to simulation.

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