Finding and mapping influences

The awesome Jonathan Gray posted an intriguing question on his blog about mapping influence in intellectual history. What he is trying to do is to map the possible routes of influence between people. In his case, it is philosophers; in mine, authors.

One of the driving ideas behind the Open Correspondence RDF was to begin identifying the people to whom Dickens wrote about books. Out of this I would like to create some visualisations of the data. You could possibly do this for the places, for example track his letters for one of the US tours.

But back to the original question. I believe this can be done (as I’ve been working on the XML issues) using Python’s rdflib. The major issue would be to get this working across version 2.4 and 3 so that any released code would be cross-platform.

Jonathan: as an open call, I’d love to work with you on this.