Get me a brain transfusion, STAT!


In the course of one of those meetings that makes me feel so damn lucky to be working at a university, I got turned on to txtkit. Checking out the site itself induced a case of cognitive vertigo, spinning more wildly the deeper I looked:

txtkit is an Open Source visual text mining tool for exploring large amounts of multilingual texts.

OK, visualising large amounts of text. Got it. What’s the focus?

It’s a multiuser-application which mainly focuses on the process of reading and reasoning as a series of decisions and events. To expand this single perspective activity txtkit collects all of the users mining data and uses them to create content recommendations through collaborative filtering.

Uh oh. I’d better poke around to clear up this dizzy sensation…

In order to avoid an overview of a text we decided to merge data and user activity in a single but dynamic and variable model. txtvbot can not be seen as a new representation of the original text, it maps the continuous variation of thinking to a continuous development of form.

txtvbot displays events and content of the users actions in the txtshell and shows further information: visual properties like length and form, vectors and lines correspond to statistical and textual data as well as collaborative filtering.

[drool… drool…]

I haven’t given up yet (maybe the demo movie will help, though at the rate it’s downloading onto my machine it may be some time before I attain enlightenment) and while I wait for neurons to start firing I can admire all the pretty pictures. And it’s not as if I have to master this stuff to make my living.

Wait, oh man

About Brian

I am a Strategist and Discoordinator with UBC's Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology. My main blogging space is Abject Learning, and I sporadically update a short bio with publications and presentations over there as well...
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6 Responses to Get me a brain transfusion, STAT!

  1. Sounds cool. Love that the cool new research projects are being done on MacOSX, too 🙂

    Couldn’t get the movie to play over my bandwidth at home – will check it out tomorrow AM in the office, but those pictures sure are purty! Not sure how the thing actually works, though…

  2. Jim Woodell says:

    Okay, I’ve been playing with this now for an hour. It’s very groovy, but I have no idea what it does. Can you explain what potential applications for such a tool might be?

  3. Brian says:

    Jim, I was hoping you might be able to tell me.

  4. Scott Leslie says:

    I’m with Jim on this one – sure, it looks neat, but what the heck does it actually *do*? The home page of this project gets my vote for the most obtuse software homepage, at least this month. maybe they are talking to a specialized group who get the jargon and terminology on the page, but for me neither the site, nor the movie, which the version I managed to see was just as incomprehensible, left me wanting to jump through the hoops of installing and configuring the software, which is too bad, as those pictures sure are purdy 😉

  5. Hmm… I might need to RTFM. All I was able to do with it was create a pretty cool screensaver 🙂

    Wasn’t sure if it was just a GUI on concordance, or if it was doing some higher-level crunching of the text. UI is pretty funky (i.e., wtf?) but the out put sure is shiny. Not sure why it renders below all windows (below my desktop icons, too), rather than above them in full screen mode…

  6. johnny st hubbins says:

    Hmmmmm i beleive that the basis of your concept lacks stature and its pretty much just shit innit

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