a Digital Humanities Hackathon (31.05–02.06.2023)


What can the Humanities learn from environmental data? This hackathon brings together researchers across disciplines to explore the unrealised potential of weather and climate data for the Digital Humanities, contributing to the emerging field of Environmental Digital Humanities.

Making sense of meteorological and climatological data is a pressing issue for the Humanities in the face of climate change. As global warming makes weather increasingly unpredictable and chaotic on a spatial and temporal scale that exceeds immediate comprehension, data provides one point of access to this new reality. At present, however, the digital tools which make climate change legible, for instance through visualisation, are only readily accessible to a group of scientific experts. Conversely, meteorologists and climatologists might themselves benefit from the Humanities in making sense of the increasingly large amounts of data and their consequences for humanity. Turning to the past, for instance, a Digital Humanities engagement with historical sources–combining environmental and data-driven approaches–might prove particularly fruitful.

Over 3 days, this hackathon then aims to open up meteorological and climatological data as well as other types of environmental data to a wider audience, to new readings and novel applications. Bringing together scholars, artists, coders, data managers, librarians, archivists, activists and designers, we will draw from established Digital Humanities methods and develop novel ones to face a number of challenges in smaller groups. Participants apply such methods as exploratory data analysis, mapping & GIS, text mining, topic modelling, sentiment analysis, network analysis, language modelling, data visualisation and so on. Possible challenges include the development of software prototypes, the conducting of digital analyses, the processing (cleaning, enrichment, etc.) of a data set, the design of a data model, the discussion of standards or ontologies or the testing of new workflows.

Registration is closed.


Liliana Bounegru
Liliana Bounegru is Lecturer in Digital Methods at the Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London. She is also co-founder of the Public Data Lab and affiliated with the Digital Methods Initiative in Amsterdam and the médialab, Sciences Po in Paris. More about her work can be found here. You can follow her on Twitter at @bb_liliana.

Simone Fehlinger
Simone Fehlinger is a graphic designer, researcher, and lecturer at the Cité du design-École supérieure d'art et design Saint-Étienne, where she co-founded the Deep Design Lab―The Material and the Visual of the Anthropocene in 2019. Exploring the science and the fiction(s) of the mainstream weather report performing everyday anthropocene realities, she is currently PhD candidate at the University of Strasbourg. More about her work can be found here.

Jonathan W. Y. Gray
Jonathan W. Y. Gray is Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Critical Infrastructure Studies at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London, where he is currently writing a book on data worlds. He is also Cofounder of the Public Data Lab and Research Associate at the Digital Methods Initiative (University of Amsterdam) & the médialab (Sciences Po, Paris). More about his work can be found at jonathangray.org & at @jwyg.


Seeking submissions
In preparation for the hackathon, we welcomed both expressions of general interest and submissions, e.g. research questions, tools, methods, data sets or complete challenges. Registration is now closed.
Reviewing submissions
In preparation for the hackathon, we are reviewing submissions and preparing some of the challenges.
Hackathon in progress
Numerous teams are working no various challenges relating to environmental data and the humanities. The results will be published here soon !


Haus der Brandenburgisch-Preußischen Geschichte (HBPG)
Am Neuen Markt 9, 14467 Potsdam


Potsdam Network for Digital Humanities
Anna Busch, Birgit Schneider, Daniil Skorinkin, Peer Trilcke

Weather Reports research project
Birgit Schneider, Maximilian Gregor Hepach

Mail: digital-humanities@uni-potsdam.de

Twitter: @DH_Potsdam #EnvironmentalData2023

Funded by the Henriette Herz Prize and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

In cooperation with the Haus der Brandenburgisch-Preußischen Geschichte (HBPG) and the Brandenburgisches Zentrum für Medienwissenschaften (ZeM).


Day 1
May 31st
Day 2
June 1st
Day 3
June 2nd
09:30 Plenary Plenary
10:00 Team work! Team work!
14:00 Arrival
15:00 Opening & Pitches
15:30 -
16:00 -
16:30 Coffee break Final presentations
17:00 Find a team!
17:30 -
18:00 -
18:30 -
19:00 Dinner Dinner


Challenges pitched

Challange Presenters
Counter-visualisations of ensemble forecasts (for mainstream use) using footage from local-global (extreme) weather archives Simone Fehlinger, Damien Baïs
Repurposing forest media Jonathan Gray, Liliana Bounegru et al.
Weather Horoscope Birgit Schneider, Maximilian Hepach
Combining Ships Logs with corpus from cultural texts J.R. Carpenter
EcoCor (a programmable corpus for research in ecocriticism) Daniil Skorinkin, Peer Trilcke et al.
Scoping Multi-vectoral Landscape Data Methods May Ee Wong, Paolo Patelli, Jussi Parikka
Shift in the phenomenological cycle of the year Jonas Parnow
Finding cause-effect relationships in texts about climate-related events Manfred Stede et al.
Interactive climate pathway simulator Tim Repke
climasynth: Developing audible drought manifestations Eleni-Ira Panourgia, Bela Usabaev