Art Deco and Flexibility

While Voyeur possesses some wonderful tools for comprehending text, there are also some drawbacks, (although to be fair all of the tools have both their positives and negatives). Referring to my teammate Ruby’s post, (http://engl203.ucalgaryblogs.ca/2012/03/07/putting-aside-preconceived-notions-and-discovering-something-useful/) I completely agree with her about strange and redundant tools within Voyeur. The Knots tool was one tool that I specifically remember from the tutorial and I remember wanting to look more into it, however, I find using this tool provides little to no assistance in understanding a text. It is a tool for very visual learners and looks at the ‘path’ of words throughout the corpus and where they intersect with other words.

When you click on each “section”  of the knots, it takes you to where that word exists in the corpus. I find this tool to be messy and while it may be helpful for some people, my group and I agree that the Word Trends tool does the same job with more accuracy and less confusion. Other tools offered by Voyeur share the same issue, looking more like art deco then a comprehensive tool. Some tools in Voyeur accomplish the same task in different ways. Take for example the Bubble tool and the Word Cloud tool.

Bubble:

Word Cloud:

Both tools express the most frequently used words and organize them into a visual representation of that frequency. Now the main differences between the two tools are that in the Bubbles tool, there is a list of the top fifty, most frequent words in the corpus beside the visual and in Word Cloud the words are not separated and are expressed in different colours. One other difference is when you mouse over the words in Word Cloud you are shown how many times the word is used whereas in Bubbles that function is unavailable. Other then those minor differences, I find no real difference in function between the two tools. I personally prefer Word Cloud, however I would not mind some feedback as to why Voyeur developed what I find to be two extremely similar tools that accomplish the same purpose rather then developing a different tool that examines text in a different way.

Now it is not all bad. The Voyeurans and I have discovered many different uses for the tools that we do enjoy using and have discovered Voyeur to be a very flexible program which not only answers questions, but prompts new ones. I enjoy the freedom to examine different parts of the text on their own rather then being forced to examine the entire corpus/act/scene etc. For example, I can isolate the part of the scene when the Ghost is present and examine it separately from the other parts of the text where the Ghost is not present and look for differences between the two corpuses, (for example, whether certain words and themes appear more often or less often depending on the presence of the ghost). One complaint that I have heard from other groups is that it is difficult to separate the text you are trying to examine from the rest of the corpus. Perhaps during Phase II, this a way in which Voyeur can be utilized. I am looking forward to Phase II because I find that the more text you have to analyze the more interesting your results and being able to analyze an entire act rather then just one scene should lead to more comprehensive results from Voyeur.

One thought on “Art Deco and Flexibility

  1. Compared to all the posts I have seen on the different word tools, I would have to say the Voyeur posts have been the most colorful! Compared to my tool which is WordHoard, Voyeur seems a lot more interesting. I agree with your point on the Bubble and Word Cloud; it seems pointless to have created two separate tools when the developers could have developed one tool and combined all the functions. The screenshots do look like art work, maybe art students could use it? I’m looking forward to phase 2 and learning more about Voyeur.

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