UTS Library

New text visualisation tool

It seems like there are more fantastic visualisation tools to play with all the time! This morning I discovered textexture, a new tool that helps you visualise text both in terms of frequency (like wordle) and as a network graph. What does that mean, and why is it cool? Well, imagine you wanted to analyse some text, and determine not just how often a certain word appears, but also see which words that word appears with. You can do that with textexture! 

There are some great examples on the textexture website already, but as an experiment, I copied in the transcript of Prime Minister Julia Gillard's recent 'misogyny' speech. It looked like this: 

The larger the 'node', the more frequently that word appears, and the connecting lines indicate the relationships between that word and others in the text. 

What I really like about textexture, is that when you click on one of the 'nodes', you get to see the passage/s of text where that word appears - and you can then build on this buy selecting other words and see where they appear together. You can also search for certain words and the network graph responds and changes accordingly. See the full range of features and have a play with this visualisation here (you may need to create a free account for some functionality - you definitely will if you want to create your own network graph from scratch). 

textexture is in early beta, so it does have a couple of quirks still to be worked out - being able to add some attribution details would be helpful for instance, particularly if you want to make your graph public. But it's certainly worth a look and a play.