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By Sarah Zhang


I used Palladio, a tool for exploring humanities data, to examine the migration patterns hidden in the Chinese Head Tax Data, which goes back to a century ago. And the exploration was driven by this inquiry: what new possibilities for the study of early Chinese immigrants to Canada could this dataset offer if new DH tools are employed?

Well, it turned out, there’s some hidden gold mine that hasn’t been discovered!

While Palladio seems to be a really easy-to-use tool, I found myself, when I drilled in the visualization based off of the data, perplexed at some deceptively obvious characteristics of the graph, such as the nodes’ size and the connections, and their relationships. Once I tackled these puzzles, I got an entirely new understanding of the graph, which interestingly led to more research questions that can be asked of the graph below.