After hearing my classmates responses to their word analyzing programs in class the other day, I can honestly say I am lucky to have been assigned to WordSeer. WordSeer is simple to understand and easy to navigate. When we were first asked to watch the demonstration videos posted, I figured WordSeer was just like all the other programs we had looked at. Over the past few weeks I have begun exploring WordSeer; figuring out its capabilities, setbacks, and unique features. One of these features is the visuals it creates with just the click of a button. The â€œHeat Mapâ€ visual creates blocks of colour, each one indicating when a word appears within a text. You can choose which textâ€”in this case Hamletâ€”you want to specify the search for, or you can choose more general and incorporate all of Shakespeareâ€™s work. For example, in the first Heat Map I have used the word love as described in any relation to the word. Here are the results:
As compared to love in Shakespeareâ€™s â€œPrimarily Loveâ€ plays:
A unique function of WordSeer that is not used among the other word analyzing programsâ€”that I am aware of anywayâ€”is the related words function. I am guilty of right clicking in Word documents to find synonyms when I am stuck, and â€œRelated Wordsâ€ does just that. For example if I searched death throughout Hamlet but did not yield many results, I can click on the word andâ€”similar to a Word documentâ€”search for synonyms.
One of the only problems I have encountered with WordSeer is the program is sometimes unresponsive. I have had issues with freezing on the website and computer, and more than once it has stopped working all together. At times nothing will happen when a button is clicked on. The only solution I have found for this problem is switching browsers. Personally, I find Google Chrome works best, although I have heard from other classmates that Firefox is also a good option.
Although I have explored the majority of WordSeer, there are still some features I have not thoroughly looked at. The snippet feature is still a mystery to me and although I have tried creating a snippet it usually just highlights the entire play, the exact opposite of what I intended. Exploring Hamlet as a whole has been quite interesting, and narrowing it down to a single act and scene, will be a nice comparison.
Overall, WordSeer has impressed me with its abilities. I am still new at the whole â€œDigital Humanitiesâ€ thing, and computer programs follow closely behind. However, WordSeer has been easy to navigate, and even in one week, it has created new insights into Hamlet that I have not previously encountered. I am still amazed at the fact that WordSeer is able to analyze parts of Shakespeareâ€™s work in seconds; I only wish I had known about it when I was in high school and Shakespeare was like a foreign language to me.