21.012 text visualization?

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2007 16:24:44 +0100

                Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 21, No. 12.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Fri, 11 May 2007 16:18:45 +0100
         From: Martyn Jessop <martyn.jessop_at_KCL.AC.UK>
         Subject: Text Visualization

I'm researching a book on visualization in the digital humanities and
need some views from those working in text visualization. I've
reviewed visualization of quantitative data, spatial data and
temporal data and there is plenty of support for the new
visual methods.

When I came to eamine text visualization things were very
different. My difficulty is that many of the people I've spoken
to argue that the more imaginative visualizations of text are merely
decorative and we have not seen much in the way of useful insight
emerging from the use of such visualizations. Is this really an
accurate assessment?

I come from a background of visualization of spatial and quantitative
data and can see how adaptions of statistical graphics mesh well with
'conventional' text analysis but I'm interested in the more creative
applications such as word brush, word rain and similar imaginative
tools present in projects like TAPoR and TextARC.

I'd like to keep things simple and not risk limiting the discussion so
I will not say more at this stage. So are the "blobby clusters" and
"concept shapes" of text visualizations a waste of time or are visual
analysis strategies providing useful insights which are being translated
into concrete research outcomes?


Martyn Jessop

Martyn Jessop
Centre for Computing in the Humanities
King's College London
London WC2R 2LS

email: martyn.jessop_at_kcl.ac.uk
Phone: 0207-848-2470
Fax: 0207-848-2980
Received on Fri May 11 2007 - 11:29:57 EDT

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