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Digital Humanities Software Tutorials

In Fall 2016 I wrote a series of tutorials for Professor Johanna Drucker to use in courses deploying common digital humanities software for mapping, timelines, and data cleaning. Below are descriptions and titles that link to these documents.


[Visualization from the RAW tutorial]


1. Excel Pivot Tables and Charts (for Mac users)

Pivot tables allow you to summarize data in Excel and can be especially useful if you want to derive meaning from a large set of non-numerical data. Once you’ve created a pivot table, you can then visualize this information using graphs and pie charts. This tutorial was adapted from a similar tutorial by Miriam Posner.

Note: This tutorial was created with Mac OS version 10.10.5 and with Microsoft Excel for Mac version 15.24.

Excel Pivot Tables and Charts Tutorial


2. Open Refine

In these tutorials on cleaning messy datasets you’ll learn:

  • how to resolve variations of titles into a single identity
  • how to undo functions
  • how to export your refined spreadsheet to your desktop
  • how Open Refine can help catch and resolve numerical mistakes
  • how to reorder and sort columns
  • how to create new columns from information in existing cells
  • how to manipulate dates, and
  • how to create geo-coordinates from addresses

Open Refine Tutorial 1

Open Refine Tutorial 2

Open Refine Tutorial 3


3. Google Fusion Tables

Google Fusion Tables is a free tool provided by Google that helps you visualize and share data with other users of the service. You can create visualizations in the form of pie charts, bar charts, lineplots, scatterplots, and timelines. Fusion Tables also allows you to merge datasets together – to create richly layered maps, for instance.

In these tutorials you’ll learn:

  • the basics of creating and customizing a map
  • the basics of creating graphs
  • how to combine different datasets together from multiple sources then create a map of the merged data

Google Fusion Tables Tutorial 1

Google Fusion Tables Tutorial 2

Google Fusion Tables Tutorial 3


4. is a free web data visualization tool that allows you to download and embed your charts on other websites. This tutorial will show you the basics of how to create and customize charts in tutorial


5. RAW

RAW is a free and fairly simple web tool that creates colorful, vector-based visualizations from spreadsheet data. This tutorial will show you the basics of how to upload and visualize data in RAW, focusing on graphics that display change over time.

The tutorial works with a dataset that needs modification in order to suit the parameters set by RAW’s software. In order to prepare the data, you’ll first take it into Open Refine, make a quick alteration, then upload the data into RAW.

RAW tutorial


6. Neatline

Coming Soon!