Digital tool boosts city's literary past



what we're launching today is a resource called lit long Edinburgh and it's an attempt to map Edinburgh is very rich literary heritage in a work so that it can be seen in a way that it hasn't been seen before it's a collaboration between University of Edinburgh and sent Andrews and we have members of the team from literary studies from informatics and from computer visualization as well so what we've done is to bring those people together to collaborate on essentially text mining large repositories of books and we have then from those produced a data set of works that are set in Edinburgh that use it as a location and what we've managed to do is to pull out from that about 1,600 separate places in more than 550 books which has given us about 47,000 different place name mentions showing where these books use Edinburgh places as a setting the resource has a number of different aspects to it there's a location visualizer which enables you to explore the data set through a map and through searching for various authors or the keywords or four locations well there's very familiar in some ways literary history of Edinburgh there are a series of great authors down the years who we all know Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson and Muriel Spark to name but three and people are familiar perhaps with their works and the way that they use the setting Edinburgh Zoo setting but what we've been able to do with this is actually to bring in a huge number of other works which perhaps much more neglected much less well-known but which also contribute to making Edinburgh a rich literary setting this is a resource that will work for anywhere really we've done it 11 because we're based in Edinburgh we know about Edinburgh writing it seemed most relevant to us to do it here and see what we could do but having created it it's certainly something that could be rolled out elsewhere Edinburgh is one of the number of unesco world cities of literature there are many others who might also want try the lip long concept and see how it works for them

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