Mandala comprises a suite of digital tools used for storing, organizing, and publishing collections of scholarly media, media which then can be interrelated and cataloged by subject and place. Mandala is much like Ecology, the study of relationships of organisms to each other and to their environment. SHANTI created the Mandala Project for collections of digitized media which would have essentially three parts:

  • Mandala Suite of Tools is the environment
  • The media content created by scholars using these digital tools are the organisms that live within this environment
  • The Knowledge Maps application is the glue that allows everything to interact with everything else

Mandala makes it possible for scholars to create this sophisticated content without needing special grants or much programming assistance. Scholars of all skill-levels can easily create rich collections that include many types of media, such as videos, charts, essays, network graphs, and much more. Using Mandala is simple.

 Learn more...
  1. To get started, simply create a collection and add content to it using a digital tool, such as Audio-Video, Visuals, or Texts, all of which can be accessed with NetBadge.
  2. Next, catalog and connect content together by creating Knowledge Maps from Subjects and Places.
  3. Finally, explore your collections in portals that show all of your content, as well as the content of others, and focus your exploration by searching for the Knowledge Map terms that interest you.

Create quick projects with our tutorials

Step-by-Step Guides

Subjects and Places in Mandala
Subjects and Places are the two categories that make up a Knowledge Map. A Knowledge Map is a collection of media related to a common subject and place. For example, Lhasa is related to 10 places, two subjects, 715 images, and 592 audio-video. A Knowledge Map makes it easy for users to explore a related topic across different types of media without having to stray from the source.



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Poetry Project Tutorial
Here’s an example of a project in Mandala. The Knowledge Base editors have collected a series of poetry readings and performances from open-source databases like PennSound. To enhance the collection, they've added lesson plans, biographies, and data visualizations. The final set of resources contains: 

All of these resources are connected by Knowledge Maps, which are taxonomies or ontologies of terms. Knowledge Maps let you group different types of media by tagging each resource.   

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Class Collection Walkthrough
Here's a real-life example of Audio-Video in the classroom:

Dr. Jongmin Lee uses Audio-Video to display his student's video theses. 

First, he makes a class collection and adds his students. His students then upload their videos. The workflow function lets him flag submissions for editing. 

This guide walks you through his process. 

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Crowdsourced Timeline Walkthrough
This guide helps you create a collaborative, student-crowdsourced timeline in Mandala Visuals.

John Alexander used this timeline for the course he co-taught with Walt Heinecke "Documenting UVA's Future." This course, inspired by the ouster and reinstatement of UVA President Teresa Sullivan, documented the event using oral histories. Since many students were not in Charlottesville for the ouster, John Alexander helped them make a collaborative timeline of the proceedings in class, which included links to primary sources. This helped them understand the flow of information surrounding the ouster. Afterward, he shared the timeline with his students, so that they could reference it throughout the semester.

To make a crowdsourced timeline: 

  1. Create a Google Spreadsheet
  2. Enter your data 

  3. Format your spreadsheet 
  4. Log in to Visuals
  5. Create a new visualization
  6. Invite student contributions in class

  7. Add the visualization to UVaCollab



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