The Blog, The Project

Visualizing literary texts: researching existing projects

This is a post which I have created to illustrate the research I have done into existing projects which attempted to visualize literary works.

Project Management and Research Methods

Visualising literary texts research

LOTR

Created by: Emil Johansson

Type of project: Personal interest (non-profit)

Project status: The project is updated regularly and sustained through public donations.

Copyright status: Protected (Since 2014)

Software Type: Unknown

Open Access Software Status: Unknown

When was the project created: 2012

Project Description: The LOTR is a project which is a visualising of Tolkien’s works in a digital format. The project is known for being the most developed and ever updating genealogy of the historical timeline of Middle Earth. The project also includes the statistics of the population in terms of the species, gender and race of Middle-Earth.

Visualised Works: The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

Project Features

-Interactive map (includes timelines, places and events)

-A timeline of the history of Middle-Earth

-The statistics of Middle-Earth. This section includes:

  • The population of each race & gender
  • The life expectancy of different species
  • The age distribution of each species
  • The population of each species
  • The longevity of men
  • A list of the oldest to the youngest of each species.

-A time and distance travelled graph in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings

-A section which lets you search various characters and explore the connections between different characters in the trilogy.

-A blog section which has multiple contributors which illustrates the different stages of the project and the transition of turning a literary text into a digital visualisation.

-An about section which provides a brief description of what the LOTR is, who the creator is, the creator’s acknowledgments and a wall of thanks.

-A character encyclopaedia

-An analysis of Tolkien’s books which includes keyword frequency, character mentions, sentiment analysis, word count, chapter lengths, quotes, infographics and humour subsection.

-An online store where you purchase items such as an illustration of the dwarf’s family tree.

-A contact section if people need to contact the site administrators for any reason.

Fantastic Maps

Created by: Johnathan Roberts

Type of project: Personal Interest (non-profit)

Project status: Accessible but not updated regularly

Copyright status: Unknown

Software Type: Wacom Intuios4, Wacom Graphire4, Adobe Photoshop 6 Extended CS6 and Adonit Jot Touch

Open Access Software Status: Each software varies in price depending on the quality of the software.

When was the project created: 2010

Project Description: The Fantastic Maps is a website created by Johnathan Roberts which consists of maps of imaginary and fictitious locations from novels such as George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones.

Visualised Works: Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Project Features

The home page is a blog which Roberts uses to post about certain projects and how to create specific aspects of the maps landscape such as hills or trees.

-The maps section is an archive of different maps from outside landscapes to indoor battlement maps. This section is divided into five sections: World Maps, Regional Maps, City Maps, Indoor Battlement Maps, Outdoor Battlement Maps and a Logo and Heraldry section.

-Game of Thrones section is a mini archive of the official maps from the novel with short descriptions and explanations of each one below each map.

-An online shop where you can purchase some of Johnathan Robert’s work on maps.

-The how to draw a map section is a step by step guide showing you (using specific software such as Photoshop) to create and draw your own map with extreme attention to detail.

The recommended tools section is a list of tools with a brief description of each one which Roberts recommends for other people attempting to create similar projects.

-The tutorial section is focused on teaching individuals how to create specific aspects of their maps such as how to blend colour onto a tree or hill once you have sketched out the outline.

-The free maps section offers free downloadable maps which have been created by Johnathan Roberts.

-The videos section is linked to Robert’s YouTube channel in which he presents a step by step video of how to create maps and specific aspects of maps.

A Visualization of Thomas Jefferson’s 1786 trip to England

Created by: Bill Ferster

Type of project: Personal Interest (non-profit)

Project status: Accessible and sustained by funding from the University of Virginia’s Sciences, Humanities & Arts Network of Technological Initiatives (SHANTI)

Copyright status: Unknown

Software Type: Visual Eyes

Open Access Software Status: Free and downloadable software

When was the project created: Unknown

Project Description: The Visualization of Thomas Jefferson’s 1786 trip to England project is a static map in which learners can explore his journey by dragging a slider across a timeline (which animates Jefferson’s movement in England.  By dragging the slider across the timeline learners are presented with Jefferson’s movements while in England such as sending letters and attending the theatre. The search tab on the side of the map allows you to search for particular events, people and places within his journey.

Visualised Works: The Letters of Thomas Jefferson

Project Features

The first section is Jefferson’s travels in which you are able to follow his journey across England and his travels around London. The project uses a small portrait of Jefferson as the icon which moves from street to street depending on the specific event. There are also small icons which the learner can press which provide more detail about a specific event such as Jefferson attending the theatre.

The second section is a static map which visualises the transportation of mail from Europe, England and United States of America both for Jefferson and from Jefferson to various recipients. The learner can drag a slider along a timeline on the bottom of the map in order to track the transportation of Jefferson’s mail from country to country.

-The third section is a visualisation of Jefferson’s Retirement Library which is colour coded to separate the different type and subject of each text.

Mapping Texts

Created by: University of North Texas and Stanford University

Type of project: Transforming printed newspapers into a digital format

Project status: Accessible and sustained by National Endowment for the Humanities

Copyright status: Copyright protected by University of North Texas and Stanford University in 2011

Software Type: Unknown

Open Access Software Status: Unknown

When was the project created: 2011

Project Description: Mapping Texts is a collaboration between scholars, staff and students at Stanford University and the University of North Texas. The main primary material for this project was 232,500 pages that were digitized and converted to plain text using optical character recognition (OCR). This collection was processed through several different computational analyses to help the team explore the possibilities for computer aided “distant reading” of large document collections.

Visualised Works:  Texas Digital Newspaper Collection’s archive of historic documents

Project Features:

The home page provides a brief description of the primary aim of the project, what intuitions created the project, the primary resources they are using and a link to their two interfaces.

-The mission section elaborates more on the primary aim of the project and the specific ideas behind creating this type of project. In the section the creators discuss their primary sources in greater detail and provide links to their prototypes. The final part of this section refers to the partnership between the two intuitions and provides details of where the work is carried out such as the Bill Lane Center for the American West.

-The people section is list of the individuals who have worked on the project as well providing information such as their specialised project job and contact details.

-The mapping quality section is the first of their two interfaces which looks at the quality of mapping. The interactive map allows the learner to click on various cities within America such as Dallas and see the percentage of good and bad words within a number of newspaper publications from that area. At the bottom of the static map is a timeline of events that happened in Texas between 1830 and 1910.

-The mapping language section is the second of their two interfaces which looks at the word counts of specific words within a certain era of Texan history such as World War II. The learner is able to select and deselect certain newspapers in order to show different statistics from the particular era. At the top of the screen is a timeline which the learner can drag a slider back and forth in order to gain different statistics from the particular era they are focusing on.

-The publications section is a list of the various publications the two institutions of University of North Texas and Stanford University have produced in relation to the project.

-The data section is a detailed description of the amount and type of data they used for the project. A list of cities and publications in the document archive as well the three sections (word counts, named entity recognition and topic models) the data was divided into.

On Origin of the Species: The Preservation of Favoured Traces

Created by: Ben Fry

Type of project: Personal interest (non-profit)

Project Status: Accessible but the project has been completed so it is no longer updated.

Copyright Status: Copyright protected by Ben Fry in 2009.

Software Type: Unknown

Open Access Software Status: Unknown

When was the project created: 2009

Project Description: Ben Fry’s Origin of the Species project visualises how Charles Darwin’s text grew from around 150,000 words to more than 190,000 words over six editions.

Visualised Works: On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

Project Features: The project consists of one feature a static listing of all the words within each chapter of Darwin’s text. The project maps the text’s chapters to cycle through each edition’s addenda. This feature—with buttons to pause, accelerate, decelerate, and restart visualizations.

Walking Ulysses

Created by: Boston College

Visualised Works: Ulysses by James Joyce

Type of project: Personal interest (non-profit)

Project Status: Accessible

Copyright Status: Copyright protected by Trustees of Boston Colleges.

Software Type: Unknown

Open Access Software Status: Unknown

When was the project created: Unknown

Project Description and Features: The project seeks to recreate the Dublin (June 16, 1904) navigated by Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom. The project allows the learner to track the characters’ movement on a hundred-year-old map. Walking Ulysses enlivens those wanderings with sketches, images, audio recordings and passages.

 

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