As I haven’t touched this research area of the blog for years I thought I’d throw in a new item. It’s not that the research hasn’t been happening (although admittedly precious little since leaving Canada, but it appears in many different places now – twitter, LinkedIn,, Slideshare, etc…

So, a little diversion over the past few days and a work definitely in progress finds me thinking about visualisations that lend themselves to migrations. As a small experiment I have been loking at clever ways to imagine the famine migration from Ireland over the period 1845-55. I am using a Sankey diagram and the d3.js framework …  the rest is explained on the page.

You can see the work in progress in my research directory: The Irish Famine Migration – 1845 – 1855. Comments always welcome.


Past Talks

I had a great time giving a talk for the Guelph Museums on 11 October at the Wellington Brewery. It was a perfect setting for a lecture on Saints, Sinners, Brewers and Publicans: Drinking in before Prohibition in Ontario. The powerpoint slides that accompanied the talk are available
I presented some of my current research in liquor and licensing at the Global Approaches Conference at the University of Guelph, 9 August 2007! The presentation was entitled: “Liberty, Morality and the Right to Drink: Liquor Licensing, Trade Organization and Political Patronage in Late Nineteenth Century Ontario.” Exciting! Watch for some more information from this talk soon.

Areas and Materials of Interest

I currently conducting research on liquor license enforcement in Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba. I am also investigating the various Licensed Victuallers Associations in Canada, the US and the UK to explore trade organization and its effectiveness in fighting the imposition of prohibition in the late nineteenth century. hotelincontextsepia.gifI am also investigating chattel mortgage records a valuable resource for exploring the material dimensions of hotel proprietorship.
I have provided repositories of my research, including conference papers, datasets, visual support materials as well as things which I have done purely for fun on this site. The following are available:

Conference Papers
These are made available as rights, time and my interests allow.

More PhD datasets coming soon. In the meantime also check out the ones that I share from the MA work below.

My World of Maps
I love creating maps. I have been doing so since I was 11. Luckily I still have many of these early maps of mine, drawn on onion skin and eventually labeled very carefully with Letraset rub-on lettering. I have always found cartography (well maybe I am overselling my map-making ability) quite fascinating and continue it to this day. Much of my quantitative work during my MA and PhD have involved visualization of numeric data in a visual form…often maps and certainly has led me into GIS exploits.
Here is a little (expanding) gallery of some of my latest creations.

My MA Research Work
My M.A. research explored the nature of proprietorship in late-nineteenth century Ontario. In carrying out my research I worked with a wide variety of source materials and compiled some extensive datasets. Some of this data was represented visually through charts and graphs, while other sets I massaged into a variety of virtual representations using GIS. I have moved the original research website to this server. However, this link will open in a separate window or tab, as it is not tied directly into the navigation structure of this blog.

Currently Unclassified Stuff
I am constantly adding information to this site. This area contains materials which just don’t fall cleanly into the categories that I have defined for myself.

Visual Support Materials
I like to express myself visually. Often this is more effective and comes more naturally to me than trying to express myself through words. Here are few examples of some of the materials that I have created over time to illustrate concepts, ideas or represent quantitative data.

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