Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Atlas of Scandinavian Writers

Even if you cannot understand Norwegian, your Finish is rusty, or Danish non-existent The Atlas of Scandinavian Writers (Nordisk forfatteratlas) is an interesting example of the visualization of information. I translate (quickly) from the website:

The Atlas of Scandinavian Writers has as its goal to encourage interest for Scandinavian literature using an exciting visual mode. The Atlas informs about Scandinavian literature and provides inspiration for the reading of those works that are written in the North. It can be a source of inspiration for the user with tips on other writers in the same style or genre that the user has a personal attachment to, which the user has or has not encountered before.

(Nordisk forfatteratlas har til formål at fremme interessen for nordisk litteratur på en spændende visuel måde. Atlasset oplyser om nordisk litteratur og inspirerer til at øge læsningen af de værker, der er skrevet i Norden. Det kan derfor bruges som inspirationsværkstøj for brugerne med tips om andre forfattere i samme stil eller genre som brugeren personligt foretrækker, som brugeren ellers ikke ville være stødt på.)

It is a cooperative project between Scandinavian TV stations
Danish TV has been the leader of the project, but the Scandinavian Writes Atlas is a Scandinavian cooperation, that is initiated, produced and financed by the Scandinavian Broadcasters DR (Denmark), SVT (Sweden), NRK (Norway) and YLE (Finland). There over there has been support given to the project from Nordvisionens Kabelfond, Nordisk Ministerråds Kulturfond og Nord Plus Språk.

(Et samarbejde imellem nordiske TV-stationer
DR har været projektholdere på projektet, men Nordisk forfatteratlas er et nordisk samarbejde, der er udviklet, produceret og finansieret af de nordiske broadcast-stationer DR (Danmark), SVT (Sverige), NRK (Norge) og YLE (Finland). Derudover er der givet støtte til projektet af Nordvisionens Kabelfond, Nordisk Ministerråds Kulturfond og Nord Plus Språk.)

Its done in Flash (of course) but integrates video and text with a sort of mind map arranged along a time line going as far back as 1670 (Petter Dass). The 5 most popular writers from user's inquires so far are:

Karen Blixen
Tove Jansson
Per Petterson
Selma Lagerlöf
Søren Ulrik Thomsen

The Scandinavian Writers Atlas is also interesting due to who was left out. Do we have a canon here?


NickeH said...

Speaking of canon and culture politics, note the peripheral position Strindberg has in the map. I guess he would have had the central position if SVT (Swedish Public Service) had been the head man in the making of the map. Also, many of the swedish 'arbetarförfattre' are "missing" - Ivar Lo Johansson, for example, is not there as far as I can see. It is nice to see Hhemiri and Stridsberg right up there at the front, though.

((((((((ö)))))))) said...

Yes Nick..There are always more left out than are included I suppose. I am not so knowledgable about Scandinavian writers but I figured there must have been more during the 330 years represented by the timeline than the few dozen included. It would be interesting to spend more time with the site but who has the time for that?