Interactive witchcraft map
New website launched visualises the data from the Survey of Scottish Witchcraft Database (1563 to 1736).
Equate Scotland student intern, Emma Carroll, worked with Wikimedian in Residence Ewan McAndrew, during the summer to geolocate the place names recorded in the Survey of Scottish Witchcraft Database (1563 to 1736), and find the place of residence of 3,141 accused Scottish witches.
Through Emma’s detective work c.500 place-names have been located using Ordnance Survey maps, place-name books, historical maps, and gazetteers. This data was uploaded into Wikidata, as linked open data and further enriched with the location of detentions, trials, place of death, and more.
Richard Lawson, ISG web developer, provided the technical expertise for the new website and graphic design was contributed by Interactive Content Manager Stewart Lamb Cromar. The interactive maps produced by Emma, including timelines and choropleth maps, can be found at witches.is.ed.ac.uk.
Survey of Scottish Witchcraft
The Survey of Scottish Witchcraft is the work of academics in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, notably Julian Goodare and Louise Yeoman, who kindly lent their support and expertise to Emma and Ewan over the summer. With research commencing 2001, this original resource for the history of witchcraft and witch-hunting in Scotland was first published in 2003.
Not only does the project help highlight the power of data science but also shows the capability of Wikidata to aid in the making of all of the different visualisations.
Emma's research recently featured in a Scotsman newspaper article, quoting Wikimedian Ewan McAndrew:
The tragedy is that Scotland had five times the number of executions of women. The idea of being able to plot these on a map really brings it home. These places are near everyone. There does seem to be a growing movement that we need to be remembering these women, remembering what happened and understanding what happened.