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.
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…