A Better Understanding

Alright – second blog post here we go.

Since my previous post, I have gotten to know Wordseer a little better and think I may be able to provide a little more insight into this tool.  The group meetings I have been participating in with the other Wordseer “experts” have really helped all of us, I think, develop a deeper knowledge of exactly what it is this tool has to offer.

Diving right in, I want to show you guys some new features I have discovered.

If you have tried your hand at Wordseer, you already know the basic functions it offers for thorough text analysis. These sub-tools include: searching comparisons through “described as” or “any relation to”, “done by” etc. functions.  Other searches offered are Heat maps and Word Trees – which provide a visual element to analysis…blah blah blah…all of this has been covered in detail in my last post – which I know you all read…anyway…

What I have not shared with you is the nifty way you can compare different words within Heat maps! Intriguing, right? Prepare yourself.

Pretty cool, right?! In this particular screen shot, I am comparing FIVE words used within Hamlet with each other. In the column to the left of the map, you can see the words I chose to compare (war, kill, die, death, and revenge). Moving to the right to actual Heat map, the distinction between words is marked by the color. Something interesting I noticed on this map is the difference between the usage of the words “Kill” and “death” – with the first column representing “death” and the final column representing “kill”. Why is there such a difference in the amount of times each word is used? Does it mean anything?

This is the kind of information DH tools are excellent at providing.

Something else to note about the Heat Maps is that when a user has their curser on a colored tab, as I do in the image below, the specific instance in which that word is used will appear to the right of the tab, providing users with the entire line.

This kind of information can be helpful for users while trying to determine the mood, or tone in which a specific word has been used.

Another cool feature of Wordseer is the “Read and Annotate” function available.  I have found that this aspect of Wordseer is reminiscent of traditional analysis methods in that you are able to read the text and “highlight” among other cool tricks.  See for yourself….

Using an example from Act 3, Scene 4 of Hamlet, you can see how handy this tool really is.  By highlighting and clicking on any word, a box will appear with a list of options. By clicking the “Newspaper-strip Visualization” option another box will appear to the right with the highlighted word. And when you click “Go”…..

You are brought to a new screen featuring a Heat Map including every instance of the word, in my case “offended” used in the entire Shakespeare corpus. This of course can be manipulated to feature one play exclusively of anything else you want – including Word Trees.  Is this particular information useful or insightful, maybe, maybe not…is it cool…umm yeah!

One last tool offered under the “Read and Annotate tab is the “Related words” option located in the same menu displayed when you click on a highlighted word.  Selecting “Related Words” pops up another box, providing users with “Nearby Adjective’, Nearby Nouns”, “Nearby Verbs”, as well as words used in a similar context.

This can be helpful for users attempting to strengthen a hypothesis they may have or further develop initial ideas.

With these new discoveries in Wordseer, I am feeling more are more comfortable “experimenting” with my own theories.  Overall, I would call Wordseer incredibly user friendly…once it decides to accept your friend request!

One thought on “A Better Understanding

  1. Richelle, you’re on fire! This is pretty impressive work. I’m looking forward to seeing what you five have to present tomorrow.

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