The Encyclopedia of Romantic Nationalism in Europe is accessed in a browser at http://ernie.uva.nl
Most items in the top menu show a start screen headed by one or more scenario-buttons. Scenarios provide illustrative pre-selected dataset samples. These datasets can be displayed in various forms: as sortable/searchable checklists, or as visualizations. These visualizations can take the form of a chronological chart, a social-network graph or a geographical map. Available view modes are indicated by icons.
The visualization can be clicked/dragged, and zoomed in and out with the zoom level control. The interface controls can be shown or hidden and the visualization can be rendered full-screen by clicking the appropriate icons.
ERNiE’s visualizations are, crucially, diachronic and historical: they map connections over time. To see how social or geographical connections develop and morph over time, the time scale control is the user’s primary tool. The chronological spread of the data selection is indicated by the time focus; the begin-date and end-date of the selection are the focus’s outer edges.
The time focus can be narrowed or widened by click-dragging the focus edges or by setting the date values. The focus as a whole can be click-dragged along the time line. The graph will fluidly adjust to reflect these shifting chronological settings.
The development of the dataset over time can also be displayed dynamically by clicking the playback button. The speed of the visualization playback, moving from the begin-date to the end-date of the chosen time focus, can be adjusted in the playback speed settings.
Social graphs display network structures as dots connected by lines (or, technically, “nodes connected by edges").