The goal of InfoForest is to give ancient manuscripts new life by allowing anyone to analyze digitally replicated versions. At the forefront of InfoForest is the “Chad Gospels,” a volume of ancient biblical texts copied from the Latin Vulgate and dating to the eighth century. The lone surviving volume of the Chad Gospels is housed in Lichfield Cathedral, Staffordshire, England; however, using scanned images of the documents, VisU student researchers specializing in classical literature, data visualization, programming languages, browsers and mobile devices are paving the way for future users to perform visually interesting, detailed research on the Gospels, regardless of what device they use.
During the summer of 2012, undergraduate researchers under the mentorship of Dr. Brent Seales participated in a research experience program where they worked as a team to develop a prototype of the InfoForest system. During this time the students build iOS, Android and PHP proto-type apps that are able to use the Canonical Text Service developed by Furman University in order to deliver manuscript images and associated media across multiple devices.
During the fall semester of 2012, development of these proto-type apps continues with the goal of releasing at least one app by December 2012 in a functional version.