Animation: ‘Leeds over time: as seen through a data science lens’

Written by Mia RidgeJanuary 29, 2023Comments: 0

Kalle Westerling and Mia Ridge produced this for the Living with Machines exhibition, held in Leeds City Museum from July 2022-January 2023.

The animation was designed to provide background information about Leeds industries and geography as context for visitors unfamiliar with Leeds, and to showcase digital humanities and data science outputs from the Living with Machines project. To allow for a diverse range of visitors, including families with younger children, our target reading age for text was nine years old.

Our underlying metaphor was ‘data science methods as different lenses for looking at the past’. This allowed us to combine individual visualisations into a single narrative. We drew on as many different data sources and methods from across the project as possible, supplemented with external data sources where necessary. The extensive credits panel shows how many different sources and parts of the project we included.

This animation introduced the theme that ‘as machines were then, AI is now’ that provided contemporary resonances in the exhibition, and linked it back to its inspiration in the Living with Machines’ projects data science and computational work with historical sources. It was designed for display on a 32″ monitor positioned so that it was visible from outside the exhibition gallery.

Installation shot of the animation in the gallery next to the opening panel. Image credit Mia Ridge. Further exhibition photos are available on Flickr.

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