And the winner is…

The organisers of the London THATCamp/DH2010 Developers’ Challenge are pleased to announce that the winner was Patrick Juola (Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Duquesne University) for his Once Upon a Time tool. The THATCamp/Dh2010 DC was judged by Geoffrey Rockwell, Michael Sperberg-McQueen and Tobias Blanke, and the judges had the following things to say about the winner:

Once upon a Time / Monkeying around tool was an original serious game that asks the user to write a story using the vocabulary of another author. The game provides a list of words the player must try to use in the story and then restricts the player to the vocabulary — and the word combinations (bigrams) used by a particular author or corpus, such as Conan Doyle or Jonathan Swift.

To do this he used some of the literary corpora provided. Like the Ivanhoe game, Once upon a time / Monkeying around encourages the user to think about the language of a corpus.  We could imagine this and similar games being used for playful learning and exploration of literary language.

The interface was simple and clear. Above all, the tool/game struck us as an original and imaginative use of the given data.

One judge called it “mind bending.”

Read more about Once upon a Time / Monkeying around at Patrick Juola”s own site: http://www.mathcs.duq.edu/~juola/out_monkey.html.

The judges also thought that two other submissions deserved honourable mentions:

  • Loretta Auvil with a neat SEASR flow that used the API from the Victoria and Albert Museum and visualized searches in multiple ways.
  • Marco Buechler and Thomas Eckart, from eAqua, with a neat tool that could be trained to guess missing words in palimpsests with gaps.

The prize for Patrick is an Apple iPad.  Congratulations to Patrick!

Many thanks to all the data providers who contributed a fascinating collection of data, to the developers who participated, and to the judges who undertook their task with imagination and good humour under a rather tight deadline.

… John Bradley and Gabriel Bodard (CCH, KCL)