The Software Environment for the Advancement of Scholarly Research, SEASR (pronounced SEE-ZER), offers the humanities, arts, and social science communities a transformational cyberinfrastructure technology.
SEASR eases scholars’ access to digital research materials now stored in a variety of incompatible formats and enhances scholars’ use of them through analytics that can uncover hidden information and connections. SEASR fosters collaboration, too, through empowering scholars to share data and research in virtual work environments.
SEASR technology is also designed to enable digital humanities developers to design, build, and share software applications that support research and collaboration. Developers can tailor applications both in whole and part to fit scholars’ research needs—from changing the visualization landscapes that provide them with views of analytics results, to inserting new analytics that support their linguistic analysis for different time periods or languages, to readjusting entire steps in the work process so that researchers can validate results and alter their queries. Developers can even reuse components developed in programming environments other than SEASR’s (Java/RDF).
Specifically, then, SEASR addresses four key needs:
* the ready transformation of (semi-)unstructured data (including natural language texts) to the structured data world through building extensible software bridges
* improved basic knowledge discovery through supporting enhanced analytics
* time- and distance-independent scholarly and technology exchange through constructing virtual research environments
* fully open-sourced development for maximizing community involvement, such as by sharing user applications through community repositories
Meandre provides the machinery for assembling and executing data flows -software applications consisting of software components that process data (such as by accessing a data store, transforming the data from that store and analyzing or visualizing the transformed results).
Within Meandre, each flow is represented as a graph that shows executable components (i.e., basic computational units, or building blocks) as icons linked through their input and output connections. Based on the inputs and properties of a executable component, a unique output is generated upon execution.
Meandre also provides publishing capabilities for flows and components, enabling users to assemble a repository of components for reuse and sharing. This allows users to leverage other research and development efforts by querying and integrating component descriptions that have been published previously at other shareable repository locations.
The Meandre documentation is provided here.