I (Geoffrey Rockwell) have been asked to talk to a Digital Humanities class led by Dr. Lauren Klein that is using Voyant. They have posted some interesting questions here. Here is some of the stuff I hope to cover:
Background to Voyant
- Slowly replacing previous generation of tools - HyperPo and TAPoRware
- Trying build an online tool that would scale to handle large corpora - this meant indexing
- The TAPoR project brought us together
- Has come out of a practice we started of doing text analysis together - pair or extreme analysis
- Doing analysis and building tools - trying to do it in a day - see http://tada.mcmaster.ca/Main/EtaMay0107 (sort of log about what we did)
- This led to wanting to embed results in our papers - hermeneuti.ca
- Another idea we were playing with (that comes from HyperPo) is that of a reading tool rather than a black-box analytic.
- Voyant lets you compose skins to create your custom reading environment - now we are trying to figure out how to chain things properly
- We have a small grant to create Voyant Notebooks - a notebook environment similar to Mathematica notebooks
- I got started on text visualization in the early 1990s when I worked with John Bradley. We were looking at scientific visualization environments and wondering how they could be applied to analytics - we developed a prototype visual programming environment called Eye-ConTact and we did some interesting work using correspondence analysis on David Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.
- To the best of my knowledge Daryl Raymond at the New OED project at Waterloo was the first to experiment with visualization.
- Some of our visualizations are standard ways to display statistical views. Some come from applying visual ideas from different spheres and some are inspired by other projects. Some even come from other projects - some from Laura Mandell that we hooked into Trombone. The code is often open source that is adapted. For example we are now playing with network visualization - see http://rezoviz.voyant-tools.org/humanist/#/all