Text Visualization

history flow: chocolate

Greetings, all, and welcome to the ETEC 540 weblog! I’m one of your two instructors, Teresa Dobson. For the introductions activity in this class we’ve all been asked to find a Creative Commons image on Flickr having to do with text, technology, literacy, reading, writing, print/digital media, or the intersection of those things.

A key area of research for me is digital humanities, particularly text visualization. When I think of text, therefore, I often contemplate how the linguistic patterns inherent in a single text or a corpus of texts might be visualized. By way of introduction to the topic, you may wish to read a short explanation I wrote for another UBC graduate class here. Franco Moretti also has interesting perspectives on the topic (see particularly the section on “distant reading”). So the image I’ve selected is a “visualization of the editing activity in the Wikipedia article on chocolate” from the IBM Visualization and Behavior Group. Chocolate and text visualization — what more could one ask for? You can find out more about the IBM visualization group, and the image, here.

Now a little about myself: I’m an Associate Professor in Language and Literacy Education at UBC. You’ll find my biographical information in Connect (see the instructor bios in the Prefatory Materials). My key areas of research are digital literacy, digital humanities, and literary education. Here are some of the visualization projects in which I’m involved:

PlotVis: http://blogs.ubc.ca/plotviz/
Mandala: http://mandala.humviz.org/
Simulated Environment for Theatre: http://humviz.org/set/
Various projects with INKE Interface Design: http://inke.ca/projects/interface-design/

I look forward to working with you in this class!

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