15.293 text visualisation: request for comments

From: by way of Willard McCarty (willard@lists.village.Virginia.EDU)
Date: Fri Oct 05 2001 - 03:51:58 EDT

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 15, No. 293.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

             Date: Fri, 05 Oct 2001 08:37:19 +0100
             From: Michael Barlow <barlow@rice.edu>
             Subject: Text visualisation

    From: Michael Barlow <barlow@rice.edu>


    For the past year or so, I have been thinking about creating a very
    general (Windows) text visualisation tool that would enable myself and
    others to investigate a text by visually scanning one or more
    representations or "views" of the corpus to look for interesting patterns.
    Some related thoughts from a proposal made a year ago are posted at

    It is now time to move on from the fun, doodling in a notebook stage to
    the writing of specs, and so I welcome any comments on the
    design/features of such a program, which necessarily involves
    switching among alternative views of the corpus: from outline or
    overview to a detailed representation of the text, or from a visual to a
    numerical (statistical) representation. What I am particularly interested
    in hearing about is the representation and manipulation of annotation.
    My idea, for today at least, is that the mark-up will be represented in
    outline as a kind of tree structure and that it would then be possible to
    select certain areas of the branching structure in order to obtain a
    detailed view at the text level. Or alternatively, one might want to select a
    word or phrase in the text and see the associated annotation structure.
    Or one might control the annotation that appears in the text by means of
    selections made in the outline.

    I could list possibilities all day, but I'd like to hear from list members. I
    am sure that some on this list have thought deeply about this or have at
    least come up with ideas expressed in the form "wouldn't it be neat if X".
    I'd be very interested in hearing about X or in any reactions to my
    general proposal contained in the link given above.


    Michael Barlow
    Dept of Linguistics, Rice University www.ruf.rice.edu/~barlow
    Centre for Corpus Linguistics, Birmingham University
    Athelstan barlow@athel.com www.athel.com

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