Data Modeling: Compare Techniques

In the previous post regarding data and the way that they could model, was made an attempt to visualise them through Gephi. In that post, it will be discussed the modeling of data and the different techniques that contribute to this, and which of these techniques could work better for a humanities dataset, according to my personal experience.


Data modeling is the process in which the structure of data is represented as well as the relationships that are created between data. This is the reason why all the notation systems that are used commonly have the ability to convert one to another. There are presented differences among them which are more aesthetics. However, with some of them, there is the opportunity to create and show differences that others cannot do it, and all of them do not have the same or all the symbols to represent all the possible situations. (Hay)

A data model can have many uses and implementations such as in the field of business and science. There are three different data model types, which are: conceptual data model, logical data model, and physical data model. Each of them can be independent of each other and render in schemas that named conceptual, logical and physical schemas respectively.

Firstly, a conceptual schema used for the representation of data in a database, describing the semantics of a domain or simpler the first part of the data requirements organising. Secondly, a logical schema represents the structure of a domain of information, capturing important information regarding the elements of the database and the way they related to each other. Thirdly, a physical schema describes the details regarding store the data.

16578658-Abstract-word-cloud-for-Ontology-with-related-tags-and-terms-Stock-PhotoIn addition, there is an another method of data representation that called ontology. Ontology is a model which introduces a relevant to domain vocabulary and specifies the intended meaning of vocabulary. Also, an ontology has two parts a set of axioms and a set of facts. The former set is used to describe the structure of the model, and the latter to describe some particular actual situation. (Horrocks)

When we talk about the structure of humanities data, the ontology could be a quite efficient method that could help in the creation of a humanities database. A schema which describes the humanities data could be large and complex or used at query times such as the data of a library or a museum, or an archive. This is connected directly with the type of data, which could be quite descriptive. In those cases, the metadata of an element could be many and different between them, and the way of each user could make a search differ and difficulty predictable as well. An ontology has the ability to create a reasonable structure, including inferred answers and intended queries. (Horrocks) That could help a lot the structure of humanities data as with an ontology some very basic problems of them could be solved.

Having tried to create an ontology in Protege, an ontology editor, I saw that it is not a very complicated process for a person with humanities and not science background to create an ontology. There is the opportunity to create and name your elements and their relationships too, giving the freedom to organise the data and the structure of them according to you and your users’ needs, and not following formworks created by others, that maybe do not feet in your aims. That is very important for people like me, to find a method that they can understand and work with it without problems.


Hay, D., C., A Comparison of Data Modeling Techniques,, Web, Accessed on 8/5/2017

Horrocks, Ian, Ontologies and Databases,…/Ian_Horrocks_Ontologies_and_databases.pdf, Web, Accessed on 8/5/2017

Seiner, R., S., Different Kinds of Data Models: History and a Suggestion,, Web, Accessed on 8/5/2017

The last steps to complete the Fore Abbey Cloister

This would be the last post regarding the 3d reconstruction project of Fore Abbey Cloister. It will be presented below the last tries of Seamus and me to apply texture in the whole cloister, put lights in the scene and cameras for a hypothetical video in which will be showed the cloister to the audience.

The application of texture to the entire cloister this time and not only to the smaller parts that complement it proved tricky to us. Our first attempts have not proved to be particularly successful as we could not successfully apply the texture to the exterior walls of the cloister. We applied the texture as Bitmap and after that applied the UVW map modifier from the Modifier List like last times. But, unfortunately, that did not work. The two opposite outside and inside walls had a successful result, rotated, moving and scaled the texture through the Gizmo, but the other two walls seemed to distorted the texture. The same happened with the top of all the four walls. So, we tried to apply the texture to only one side of the wall and use the UVW map modifier in it. That was more successful and after we had the desired result, copied it to the other sides. However, when we tried to render the scene the texture was blurry, unless that we had picked from the Render Setup→Renderer→NVIDIA mental ray.

Screen Shot 2017-05-07 at 13.49.18

Screen Shot 2017-05-07 at 15.15.56

Following that, we applied texture at pillars and arches. We had already done that for the ground and the grass, as I mentioned in my previous posts. As for the roofs, we applied different textures for the inside and outside part of them. The outside texture was applied on different plans that we created as new objects from the Command Panel and attach them on the existed roofs.

Screen Shot 2017-05-07 at 17.18.54

Also, we created gutters that we placed along the roof. For the gutters, we created cylinders and used the ProBoolean from the Command Panel→Compound Objects.


That was the last detail that we put in the cloister and started experimenting with the lights through Create Panel→Lights. We pick Daylight and gave the geographical directions of the place, and select the year 1500 when the cloister had the form that we tried to create. After that, we took as a start point the centre of the cloister and we put the light up.


The last step for the to complete our model was the placement of cameras for the creation of an animation. So, based on our scenario, and having the specialist on video creation Seamus in the team, we decided to put three cameras, covering both of inside and outsides parts of the cloister as the top view to show the height of it and the audience have the opportunity tο see how was a medieval cloister.




Somewhere here our project is over! This is our final result after many hours of work on 3ds Max. What we have learned as a team from our work on this project was our contact with the software and the acquisition of the basic skills of creating a 3d model in that. 3ds Max proves to be a very important tool for anyone who deals with 3d modelling, whether they come from a theoretical background or a science one. The idea of creating whole buildings, and reconstruct a whole world from the past based on its denominations from a simple box in the Comand Panel on 3ds Max will continue to fascinate me!

Our last tries to reconstruct the cloister!

This week will be the last for Seamus and me that we are working on the reconstruction of the cloister. Below is showed some of the progress that we did.

We work again on the pillar because after the apply of TurboSmooth modifier the number of polygons increased extremely to 1.000.000 and that, as a result, crashed the 3ds Max. So, we deleted this modifier to make possible the creation of multiple copies without other extra problems to the final scene. After that, we focused on the creation of acres that were placed on the top of the pillars and were the connection between pillars and roofs. We used a plan, like the very first time with the creation of lines for the whole Abbey, and again we created a with the use of lines, convert to editable poly and extrude. Trying to be close to the original arches that are saved, we created small cylinders and through Boolean we created the schema that we wanted, also by applying different modifiers such as Stretch, applying Bevel, and moving the vertices of the inside part of the arch we took the desired result, creating this continuous-beam pattern towards the ground, like can be seen in the picture below:



Following that, we put together the pillar and the arch and created multiple copies according to the plans that we had already the pictures that took with information regarding the number of them on each side of the cloister.


Having the completed lines of pillars and arches, we put them on the scene and on the small base in the centre of the cloister. According to the information panel, where is in Abbey providing basic information for the place and the research that we did about medieval cloisters, we concluded to the existence of a roof that joins the walls with the top of the arches and which was in a lateral rather than a horizontal position. So, we decided to design that roof and put it in our reconstruction. 

Firstly, we create a box, putting measurements we made based on what we had already collected for the rest of the room, creating the top of the roof and after that another smaller boxes which we placed under the top, as beams of the roof.   

Screen Shot 2017-05-06 at 14.54.54Screen Shot 2017-05-06 at 13.18.01

We rescaled and copied them and put them across the four walls. We made new objects, four planes according to the shape of the roofs and put them up to them, and apply the texture to them through the Material Editor.

Screen Shot 2017-05-07 at 17.19.58

I will describe in the nest post the way that we used to apply texture in the whole cloister, which was not quite easy for us. But for more of our adventures with 3ds Max… wait for the next post!

One more try to improve the pillars!

Seamus and I tried for one more time to create the pillar during this week. We import the floor plan of the pillar as a Bitmap (Material Editor→pick a new slot→Diffuse→Material/Map Browser→click on the Bitmap→Select Bitmap Image File→select the image→Open the image→PSD Input Options→Ok) need, and create through Line (Command Panel→Splines→Line) an outline, which we converted to Editable Poly and Extruded it from the options in the Command Panel.

We created three copies of that pillar to use them as a base. Following that, we copied them again to create the cap of the pillar, converting them in Editable Poly, and applying them the Cap Hole modifier to fill them. We applied more modifiers on the base and the cap of the pillar to render the effect of the smoothness as it is showed in the pillars at the Abbey such as Chamfer, TurboSmooth and Melt. You can see the very first part of the base of the pillar after the apply of Chamfer modifier in the below picture:

Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 19.54.38

This is our final…let’s hope… pillar!

Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 21.43.18

Following that, we saw again the texture of the ground floor and grass of cloister and tried to fix it, rescaling the pictures that we used last time. We did that using the UVW modifier through Modify panel→Modifier ListObject-Space ModifiersUVW Map. This modifier has a coordinate system which is similar to the XYZ coordinate system. To be more specific, the U, V and W axes of a Bitmap correspond to the X, Y and Z axes respectively. So, we decreased the measures in these three axes as the pictures that we used seemed quite big in our plan (see the previous post).

Screen Shot 2017-05-06 at 13.18.01

At this point, I would like to note that we download our texture from the website

The weekend will be the last days that Seamus and I work on 3ds Max. We hope to successfully complete the cloister! The results will be presented in the next post, until then…more work on 3ds Max!

Creating Walls for the Cloister

After the brainteaser with the pillars and arches, Seamus and I focused on the walls that surround the cloister. So, having as a point of reference the plan of the whole Abbey, importing as a bitmap like the previous time, we created planes according to the plan and the measurements that we had selected. We created two planes from the Command Panel, one for the grass in the middle of the cloister and another one for the path around the cloister. After that, we created two boxes for the walls of the cloister. The first one has the space of the whole cloister and the second one was smaller and used to configure the thickness of the walls. We did that used the ProBoolean from the Command Panel→Compound Objects→ProBoolean, selecting the bigger box first and subtraction, and smaller after that. The second box disappeared and we keep the frame of the wall; we followed the same procedure for the smaller wall base in which the pillars are placed, as you can see in the following picture:

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 12.21.04

 Fore Abbey 004s

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 13.33.29

This is the whole square of the cloister, consisting of the two planes and the two frames pf walls:

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 13.10.11

Subsequently, we moved on the creation of the wall openings, following the plan, photographs and our measurements. To do that, we created boxes from the Command Panel→Standard Objects, giving the appropriate measurements, and with Proboolean and the procedure that I describe above, the openings placed on the main cloister wall. Only one of the openings presented differences from the others, so it was needed to create a hemisphere on the top. To do that we attached a cylinder on the top of the box, see bellow:

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 14.16.42

Moreover, we worked on the creation of the support of the roof, the beams, creating boxes depended on the measurements that we had for the other parts of the cloister. The roof is not saved, so we decide to follow examples from other irish medieval cloisters and the outline from the panel that there is inside the Abbey, where the cloister is placed.


This is the result:

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 17.17.06

We grouped the beams of each side to move and put them in the correct position easier. In the end, we tried to apply texture for the grass part and for the path of the cloister:

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 18.35.16

We rendered to see exactly what we have done until then. We need to work more with the texture, as you can see. So, we plan to improve the texture that we used and edit the photographs that we have and see if they are appropriate for the texture of the other parts.

Trying create pillars and arches for the cloister…do not try this at home!

Seamus and I had another exciting weekend with 3ds Max! We saw again the pillar and tried to create the arch. We improved the previous version of the pillar as you can see below:

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 17.50.13

We created the main body of the pillar from the beginning, creating again cylinders and putting together such as described in the previous post. We group them and created six copies, three for the base and three for the pillar cap. Following that, we rescaled the three parts of the base according to the picture below:

Χωρίς τίτλο

We attached them together and used the Smooth modifier through Exporting in Editable Poly→Command Panel→Modifier List→Smooth. We followed the same procedure for the pillar cap, but we applied an extra modifier which is the Melt, to give an extra sense of smoothness, following the same steps that are described above, picking the Melt modifier from the list, and adjusting the amount of melting.

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 16.40.45

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 16.40.13






In the end, we connected all of the three parts together, main body, base, and pillar cap, having a whole pillar.

After that, we moved on the arches design. An example of our tries is presenting below:

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 18.39.01

At first, we tried to create lines, following the plans that have, through Command Panel→Splines→Lines. We did that with three different ways, lines with corners, lines with smooth and semicircles, but we have not decided yet which will be the best way.

Plan Change: Go for the Reconstruction of the Cloister

Seamus and I made a reschedule regarding the plans of our project, and we decide to focus on the reconstruction of Cloister of Fore Abbey, which took place at the centre of the main building. As you can see in the picture below, to date only some of the pillars are preserved.

Fore Abbey, W Meath-thumb-300x300-12868So, we decided that this would have a great interest because cloisters were one of the most important spaces of Abbeys.  Moreover, we see that the time we have it is not enough for the reconstruction of the whole Abbey. But we have this plan store for the future!


We had some of the measurements that they need, Seamus went again in Fore to take some more from each pillar and the arches.

Χωρίς τίτλοΧωρίς τίτλο2

Having the measurements and the plan of each pillar, we started to create the first of them. We import as a  bit map the plan of the pillar in the same way that I have described in the previous blog post and the plan of the whole Abbey. We followed the same procedure as last time with the choose of lines from the Command Panel, and we tried to create the schema of the pillar from the plan. Unfortunately, this did not have big success because pillars have curved lines and for this reason, it was difficult for us to follow the lines accurately.

Screen Shot 2017-04-18 at 14.03.19

After that, we tried again, following a different way. We thought to create cylinders from the Command Panel→Standard Objects→Cylider and put them together.

Screen Shot 2017-04-18 at 17.41.41

The result was to create 11 different cylinders. That way seems to work better as the lines of the each cylinder touched more now to the plan.

That’s all until our next meeting with Seamus!

Redefining Fore: A 3D Reconstruction Project

As part of the course AFF 625: 3D Modelling, Analysis and Interpretation of Three-dimensional Spaces all students are participating in a 3d reconstruction project. The subject of the reconstruction is open and students work in pairs. Seamus Callagy  and I are working together on the project: Redefining Fore: A 3D Reconstruction Project in which the Fore fore abbey2Abbey, a tourist site in Ireland, will be reconstructed. The Village of Fore, in Co. Westmeath is dominated by the imposing ruins of a large Benedictine Abbey. Fore is on the cusp of a major heritage-based development plan with a view to massively increasing current tourist numbers. In addition, Fore is a living village, not just a heritage site and its people are proud of the connection that exists with their historical past and it is important that they remain an fore abbeyintegral part of the developments. We believe that this reconstruction will greater connect the modern community at Fore, with their heritage by bringing a strong visual asset to their current audiovisual offering.

We have travelled to the location and spoken with members of the community, including Cllr. Una D’Arcy and members of the Community Development team who are very happy that the project will go ahead. We have also spoken with several members of the community who have volunteered to assist with the reconstruction project.

But now let’s move on to the more practical part of the project. We have started working with 3ds Max 2017 software. Initially, we imported the architectural floor plan of the Abbey in the perspective viewport as a bitmap through Material Editor→choose the first slot→Diffuse→Material/Map Browser→click on the Bitmap→Select Bitmap Image File→select the image that we need (check the statistics at a low ebb of the window, for future imply objects)→Open the image→PSD Input Options→Ok. The image of the plan is applied on the Material Editor on the first slot. After that, we went to the Top viewport and create a plane from the Command Panel and the Standard Primitives Objects. We changed the parameters of the plane according to the statistics numbers (see below) and select Smooth+Highlights from the top of the viewport. We apply the map on the viewport by drag and drop and click on the View Standard Map in Viewport from the from the Material Editor panel. So, the plan was showed on the viewports.

The next step is to create lines according to the plan. So, we picked Splines→ Shapes→Lines from the Command Panel and start to create our lines following the lines of the plan.

Screen Shot 2017-04-08 at 17.29.42

When we finished this new scheme, converted it in Editable Spline, pick the vertices and tried to move them as close as possible to the original lines with right click→Corner→pick one vertex→Move and move each one close to the original. From the Perspective View and having selected the spline went to Modifier List→Extrude and extruded the spline.

Screen Shot 2017-04-08 at 17.09.37

That’s all from our first try to create the “3d Fore”!

We will try to impress you more in the next blog post!

A New Collection In The Letters 1916 Project Coming Soon

This is my first blog post regarding my practicum with the  Letters of 1916 project. As one can deduce from the title, my practicum will be related to a new collection of letters, which has been identified by Professor Susan Schreibman, the Project Director and Editor-in-Chief of the entire project. The collection is housed in the ( and includes almost 100 letters from 1916 to 1919. However, before discussing these letters, lives, and work, I would like to draw attention to some facts regarding the initial stages of my involvement in the project.

During the first discussions I had with my supervisor, Susan Schreibman, and my mentor, Neale Rooney, they described a new collection of letters concerning  Belgian refugees. These would be the letters that I would be digitalizing, so the team working on Letters 1916 and I started researching them. The result was of great interest. Belgian refugees began to come to Ireland and Britain in 1914, after the start of the WWI, since Belgium lay in the epicentre of the global conflict (1). The first appointment at the Irish Jesuit Archives had already been arranged; my mentor and I, our camera and tripod all were there to photograph the letters. Damien Burke, assistant archivist to the Irish Jesuit Province, was also there to help us with the letter manuscripts and give us ample helpful and useful information. As the photographing process flowed smoothly, we noticed that some of the letters were written in 1914. This time period was outside the time limit in which the current project was focusing on. Thus, we discussed the issue with the supervisor and we decided to leave this collection and start from the beginning with a new one. The Belgian refugees will have to wait for another researcher, unfortunately!

Fr John Fitzgibbon
Fr John Fitzgibbon

The senders and the receivers, Fr John Fitzgibbon, Fr Thomas Nolan and Fr Frank Shaw, constituted a team of priests and soldiers who lived and active during World War I (WWI). As a result, the new collection refers to priests who had left their flocks and joined the army during the WWI and more specifically the letters written by Fr John Fitzgibbon SJ, Fr Thomas Nolan, and Fr Frank Shaw SJ. Fr John Fitzgibbon SJ was born in 1882 and died in 1918. His adopted name was Jack. The name of his father was John Fitzgibbon and we know that he was a successful draper and subsequent Member of Parliament (PM) the time period from 1910 to 1918. His brother, Michael Fitzgibbon, was captain in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers and was killed in the Battle of Gallipoli.  Jack was educated at Clongowes and was ordained a priest on 31st July, 1915. Subsequently, he served in the 6th Division of the British Army, and enlisting shortly after the death of his brother. He was promoted to senior chaplain in 1917, and in the same year he was gassed at Loos on 5th September and was awarded the military cross. Next year, on 18th September, Jack was killed in action by an artillery shell at Attilly and buried at Trefcon, St. Quentin, Picardie.

Fr Thomas Nolan was born in 1867 and died in 1922. From 1912 to 1922 he became the Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus. Besides that, he was a Distribution Committee member responsible for the welfare and distribution of the Belgian refugees who had found refuge in Ireland on account of the WWI.

Fr Frank Shaw

Fr Frank Shaw SJ born in 1881 in Ennis, country Clare, and died in 1924. He was ordained on 31st July, 1916 at Milltown Park in Dublin. However, he joined the war earlier in 1916, working in the 16th General Field Hospital at Le Tréporte. In 1917, Fr Shaw was dispatched to India, and later to Mesopotamia, possibly due to his nationalistic views. At the same time, he got into trouble for republican views, as it was reported he had confronted a room full of officers in Mesopotamia, making “disparaging remarks about the 1916 men.”

To date, Neale and I have been to Irish Jesuit Archives, taken pictures of the letters’ collection and spoken with Mr Damien Burke, assistant archivist, who has significantly helped us ever since the first meeting that we had with him. Except for the information regarding the letters, he has shared with us valuable details for the lives of priests and their actions and brought us old books, also belonging to the collection of the archives, in order for us to extract additional information. I think that this would be an appropriate time to thank him for all his help he was extended us and to the project in general.

However, taking pictures is not enough. I now have to edit them and then follow the appropriate procedure which will lead to the final publishing of each letter. So, an entirely new and fascinating collection awaits me which brings a deep sense of responsibility towards the team of Letters 1916. Hope to reciprocate their trust!

(1) Mulvagh, Minute book of the Belgian Refugees’ Committee,

McNally, An Irishman’s Diary on the Belgian refugees of 1914-18,


Burke, Damien, Irish Jesuit Chaplains in the First World War, Messenger Publications, 2014

Irish Quarterly Review Studies: The Pity of War 1914-1918, Summer 2015, Volume 104: No. 144

Data Game

According to Oxford Dictionary, data is a noun which is used to describe ”facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis”. In addition, data is used in a philosophical context as ”things known or assumed as facts, making the basis of reasoning or calculation.”  However, for the purpose of this post I will be focusing on the meaning associated with computer science that defines the data as ”the quantities, characters, or symbols on which operations are performed by a computer, which may be stored and transmitted in the form of electrical signals and recorded on magnetic, optical, or mechanical recording media.” To understand the follower example we should keep in our minds this definition. In the example, the data is visualized giving so that the result is conveyed more clearly especially for visual learners.

Data visualization is a different way to present data. The main goal is to communicate information clearly and efficiently. So, visualization has to be informative and useful to be successful. Besides, data visualization hide a question which has to be answered such as a small story which slowly unfolds with the help of the visual element. Where we to use a formula a to describe this, would be the following: Question + Visual Data + Context = Story (Shapiro).

Below is presented an example of data processing and visual representation to show how data, through the right combinations, has the potential to produce a meaningful result and not just information, thus contributing to the creation of knowledge. The software Tableau ( was used for the creation of this chart, a data visualisation software which can help someone see and understand what results could arise from their data. It is user-friendly and can connect to almost any database. It is the database of the Central Statistics Office (CSO) ( that is used here.  From this dataset, one could select a topic and a subtopic that the are interesting in and the available data tables will be displayed. On this occasion,  the name “Recorded Crime Offences by Garda Station, Type of Offence and Year” is used, taken from the main category of “People and Society” and the secondary category of “Crime and Justice.”  From this diagram, are exported data about how many and what kind of crimes are reported were reported to the police stations in Ireland from 2003 to 2016.

As can be seen in the pictures, there is one main illustration and an appendix. In the first one,  are showed the different types of offences, in which police station they took place, what year and how many there were.

printscreen 1

The appendix presents the categories of the offences, how many they are and the color in which they can found in the illustration.

printscreen 3

When the cursor is on one of the different circles, the following statistics appear: Garda Station, Type of Offence, Year and Value. The bigger circles have a bigger value number and the smaller have a smaller one, respectively. Ιn this way, simply by moving the mouse over the chart, everyone is able to be informed about the basics without getting losing themselves in long lists of endless information such as in the database used here.

printscreen 5

The world of data and the way it is organized and visualized may be resemble confusing, but after appropriate processing and construction it could reveal something that we had not imagined before. It is something like Lego, where there are many pieces in different shapes, colors, and sizes and through consecutive and different combinations they have the ability a new result can be produced very different from the previous one. Thus, the data, like small Lego pieces, can be combined in many different ways to produce the results we want to present each time.  However, when we talk about data, imagination is not enough. A key role is played by the wording of the question we want to answer through the elaboration of appropriate data. We should experiment with the available data and try to create new combinations and versions. Through all that, we could realize the potential data hides. So, let’s start the data game!


Shapiro, M., Once Upon a Stacked Time Series,  Beautiful Visualization, Edit. by Steele, J. and Iliinsky, N.,, Web, Accessed on 16/2/2017

Oxford Dictioneries,, Web, Accessed on 16/2/2017

Recorded Crime Offences by Type of Offence and Quarter,, Web, Accessed on 16/2/2017