Voyant Tools

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Voyant tools is a site that allows people to examine the main contents of various texts. With voyant tools you can see things such as how many times a word is written in the text and various other tools to view  the text look at how words are connected and such. we can see patterns far more easily in the texts we look at so it is helpful for that but this site seems to be rather limited in how much it can actually help with studying a text. although of course historian’s have to do their own work and closely examine texts to get meaning form the existence of the words there and they have to think about it and figure out why those patterns that exist actually exist and if it is just a coincidence or if there is something important behind it. so Voyant tools does do the job it was made for to display important things in large texts but the actual uses of this is rather limited should really only be the starting place for any serious text analysis.

So I would say yes Voyant tools does help as it can be useful in some cases and when not it would just be left unused. but as to whether it gives us something new I would say not really as it does give a new and easier way to spot patterns and connects however it is not something that couldn’t be done by people it would just take far longer to collect the data that Voyant displays in a matter of seconds. As this tools speed up a lot of grind work for historians analyzing the text it does cut out a lot of repeat reading to find those connections but it still requires the reader to go throw the text thoroughly to come up with any meaningful conclusion or argument and thus I don’t think it has negatively affected historians reading skill but simply removed some of t he grind work they were forced to go through in the past.

Voyant Tools

Voyant Tools is a helpful program during the process of text analysis. A process in finding language patterns in large texts that would have regularly taken days can now be completed with the click of a button. Visualizations such as a word-cloud and scatter plots are generated along with frequency counts and various search tools. While it has its benefits, it is important for the users to remember that the analysis provided by Voyant Tools is not the end of the analysis process, but rather a jumping off point.

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When looking at Voyant Tools, it is important to look past the raw data that it has provided. In the analysis of the book Emma by Jane Austen, the word Emma is used a lot. This is not something that is necessarily significant because that is the name of the main character. It would only make sense that her name appear as one of the most frequently used words. However, something that can be noted is that the formal titles of Mr., Mrs., and Miss appear almost as much, if not more than the main character’s name. This can be used to extrapolate that formal titles were far more frequent in the pattern of speech and given names were less significant. This can be used to pursue further analytics in formal patterns of speech if that is the direction that the analyst wishes to take.

This process gives us a simplified way of viewing analytics that were previous done by hand. Visualizing the data has also allowed for connections to be drawn when comparing texts as well. All of the analysis performed could have been done previously, as such nothing new is provided by the analysis, however as mentioned, it has made this process far more accessible to anyone, not just historians, but in the study of linguistics as well. Historians can find great use for Voyant Tools in their study of historical texts, however they must remember that they are performing the true analysis, not the program.

Voyant Tools

Voyant Tools is a useful online tool that picks up different trends in texts. The program uses Google analytics in order to find this information and promptly supplies it to the user. There are a lot of benefits to this program, however it also has draw-backs. I definitely believe that this program was made for scholarly use and analysis as that is the main point. It can be used for many different things in analyzing texts.

The positive thing about this tools is that it can be very beneficial in picking out some things that are important. The frequency with which things are discussed in the text can be critical to the message that comes from the piece. It can be helpful in finding central themes or important people that need to be discussed.

Another good thing about this tool is that there are many different ways to analyze. There are visual ways such as the word collage and the “Termsberry”, however there are also charts and graphs. In EDUC 1F95 we studied how important it is that different learning styles have the ability to grasp things. This is very useful in doing so because it provides the same information in a plethora of ways after such a short period of time waiting for analysis to be complete.

The main drawback I can see through this tool is using it with too much focus. Although it can be very helpful in creating an analysis, I personally would find myself trying too hard to make sense of the wording and frequency with which they are used. While this could be important, it is also important to know what the text is saying in context. For example, when we looked at Shakespeare’s Macbeth in class, the most frequently used word was “Macbeth”. That doesn’t tell us much about the text as it is a play that would obviously state his name with each line.

I think that this would be a more accurate tool to use for poetry or English studies. Speaking as an English major, it would be more useful to find thematic importance in these subjects. Historical texts, primarily secondary sources, need to be understood. Language is only a fraction of the importance in these texts.

Screen Shot 2017-11-24 at 11.59.58 AMThis tool augments typical historical reading because it removes that focus. It takes away from the meaning of the text and shows form rather than context. History is very important to consider in context, and not by the number of times Henry VIII Says the word “Protestantism” in an address. While this shows that he may enjoy Protestantism, it doesn’t tell us what he is saying about it. For this reason, I personally don’t think using Voyant Tools would be extremely beneficial in analyzing historical texts, however that is based on the way I have been practicing in my educational career.

In regards to “giving us something new”, I think it definitely does. There is a benefit to this as it can be done much more quickly than if the reader were going through the text to find the frequency, however I don’t think it gives us too much in terms of analyzing sources specifically. Especially, after having to use it as a source of analysis myself. I learned more when I fully read the text a couple times.

Post #4 Voyant Tools

Voyant Tools is a program that analyzes a body of text and returns key words, word usage and other helpful data. This makes it easy for the user to quickly find out key information and themes. The program will give you a summery of where a specific keyword appears and at what frequency throughout the text. The tool also allows the user to get information that surrounds the word such as the words it appears in conjunction most often with and gives the most used phrases.

An example of this I did on the Treaty of Versailles

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This can be particularly helpful to historians. Documents from the past can be analyzed to see how language was used. Voyant allows us to see how the use of words has changed and could also help us better understand how people communicated and articulated their thoughts through language. The tool would be ideal for quickly analyzing large bodies of text to get a sense of how the text is fundamentally put together. This is something new that the tool offers that would take a historian a lot longer to do and could also help the historian to quickly get a broad idea of the text.

There are a few ways however that the tool could hinder a Historian’s view. The use of the tool may lead the historian to thinking they get the general idea of the article leading them to think they don’t have to read the text because they have the general idea. This could also lead to the historian making broad assumptions about the text as Voyant only gives small amounts of information around the text not the whole ideas that the text contains.

Overall, I think the tool is very interesting, but use of the tool for historians is a bit of a double-edged sword.

 

 

Blog #4: Voyant tools and text analysis

Voyant tools is a useful open web based application for performing reading and digital text analysis. In other words, the Voyant tool is an excellent source to learn about the various kinds of data that us as humans can extract from the internet sources. It allows us to write own text or collection of texts in a various formats that includes plain text, HTML, XML, PDF, RTF and Microsoft word. Especially, this tool is vital for digital historians that can provide insight regarding patterns and is crucial in the technological advancement era as we are furthering our advancement to online platforms. This will allow historians to explore patterns in a reduced amount of time. For example, from my exploration from this site, one is able to select a corpus and can simply copy and paste a text into a text box from different locations including URLs and uploaded files. The upload file selector would allow one to choose one or more files as it is easier to add several documents at once. Once the corpus has been selected, it will be presented with a default skin that includes cirrus, reader, trends, summary and contexts. This will help hinder historical analysis to analyze text patterns in various bodies of writing.

Furthermore, it has a range or analytic and interpretive functions that has several tools for studying term frequencies and distributions and collections within documents in different formats. This is beneficial because historians can get a more better and basic understanding of the connections between the texts. While on the other hand, the most fascinating part about Voyant tools is the ability to bookmark your work and share the URLs as you are able to work with the same text during different sessions. Not only that, but the voyant tools is available in several languages. That includes Arabic, French, Japanese, Serbian etc. From this, it can be shown that individuals can use this helpful site from any part of the world.

I believe the downfall to voyant tools is that the text itself does not do the actual work for you as it gives surface of common words and correlations between the words but meaning. As well as,  you can narrow the specific word from the patterns, but the vital information or key word can be forgotten. Thus, one needs to find the deeper meaning behind the words as it can be time consuming. However, I plan on using this tool in furthering my assistance in analyzing my patterns in my own personal essays. This is because I am able to see the  trends in the text that I may have never seen before as this site does give something new that we can not otherwise access.

More Tools

Blog Post #4

Voyant Tools is a useful web application that reads and analyzes word documents with the click of a button. Users must copy and paste the document of choice into the box and Voyant Tools does the rest. Voyant Tools will then categorize and chart the different words and phrases used in the document, making it very easy to skim through and pick out information needed within large texts like poems or books.

Voyant Tools is helpful for historians because it can help determine the influence of different languages and dialectics based on what words are used in the document, including the word order and how sentences are constructed around the letter. Let it be known that Voyant Tools is simply a tool, and without the purposeful effort of the person examining the piece of literature, the information Voyant Tools gives is useless.

The ability to quickly access and analyze documents using Voyant Tools is very helpful for Historians. I believe that this tool is quite difficult to use for the average person researching text, but to a knowledgeable historian who understands what the tool is providing can really help with the process of comparing texts, or analyzing words and meaning within the text. I do not personally believe that Voyant Tools offers something that was previously unattainable, but I do believe that its use makes historians jobs much easier. Voyant Tools would make the normal task of comparing texts or analyzing texts much faster than by human effort.  With applications like Voyant Tools, the need for Historians or other academic positions to critically analyze and understand the documents they are using in Voyant Tools will always be there because these tools cannot make comments or educated answers on the information it analyzes from the text. Voyant Tools is but a valuable aid in decryption and analyzing texts for human scholars and will never be able to completely replace the historian or analyzer. reading-online

Blog Post #4: The Final Blog

Does the use of tools like Voyant lead to better history? To answer that, it should probably be established pretty quickly that having a tool available to you is unlikely to make history any worse. The only way having access to an optional tool might lead to a decrease in quality is if the tool is ineffective / misunderstood, and widely used for whatever reason. With this in mind, tools such as Voyant are at worst useless, and most complaints that they have made things worse aren’t particularly strong arguments.

So is Voyant actually beneficial? My initial reaction is yes, but only in specific contexts. Perhaps I just haven’t used it enough, but the information derived from this service seems too basic to draw any particularly noteworthy conclusions on its own. While finding word frequencies and the words that often appear nearby can shed some level of insight into the author’s priorities, it still generally falls short of  a deep reading of the work. Essentially, this service isn’t capable of replacing deep reading in almost all situations. It can, however, provide some clues before starting the deep dive. Scan in the work, look at the data, find some correlations, come up with some theories, then start reading for yourself. This way Voyant’s relatively light breakdown can be turned into a prep exercise to help get more out of the reading. As mentioned in lecture, these digital tools should start as a beginning, not an end, to research.

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Good luck sorting through this in less than a month

However, let’s say deep reading isn’t really an option. What if you want to look at a huge collection of works, and try to discern trends, or pick out a work that had previously been left ignored. Older historical methods rely off of a relatively small number of key works, leaving a great deal of room for discovery, if only you could sort through a massive amount of mostly useless information. This is what computers can do well. Taking a massive data set, and sorting it into something that is hopefully useful. Computers promise to greatly expand the availability of previously obscure sources, greatly reducing the time spent looking for resources, and greatly increasing the time spent actually using them. In this ideal situation, research is not only faster, but better founded upon the available evidence.

Unfortunately,  I don’t feel Voyant will be the tool to completely fulfill this promise. The biggest issue is in the sources that Voyant can actually use. Anything you want analyzed needs to be convertible to a plain text file. This means that somebody has to manually transcribe a work in order to get usable input for this service. Transcribing anything long enough to need a computer to analyze is an incredible amount of work, defeating the purpose of making this research easier, and likely means it was popular enough to begin with that it’s not a “hidden gem”. This isn’t an issue if you want to analyze the writings of Shakespeare, but using digital tools to dissect a well known corpus of works is unlikely to be truly groundbreaking.

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When an AI can read this old Irish script accurately, we might have something truly special on our hands

The solution to this probably is already in development, and is seen fairly frequently in online archives. Getting computers to transcribe the text for you is the obvious solution for making obscure works readily available to analyze. The tech isn’t quite there yet, with enough errors and difficulty transcribing older sources that it won’t quite give the results we need, but within perhaps a decade, we could see AI capable of transcribing huge collections of works, and then breaking it down into something a human can make good use out of. Tools like Voyant seem highly situational today, but their successors could radically expand the sources that historians have available to them, hopefully leading to better history.

Blog Post #4 – Voyant Tools

Through my exploration of the program ‘Voyant Tools’ I’ve discovered that they first of all are just tools. Voyant tools, along with other digital text analysis tools are just tools. What this essentially means is that these digital text analysis sites do not do the work of actually analyzing the text for you. What it does do is gives an almost surface value analysis of the text, looking for things such as common words, phrases, correlations, and such, but not much deeper than that. As historians we can make use of this surface value information to find a deeper meaning into the text comparison or analysis, but if we don’t, the digital text analysis tools are not much use. 7q9w4cyr1r3edmpy6dc0_400x400

However, despite that negative, these digital text analysis tools are easy to use and can segway into a deeper look into a topic. The site Voyant tools is super easy to use, you just take two texts (or even just one) and copy and paste them into the box, or upload them and then a simple analysis with patterns and other generic information comes up. This is good because as a historian not only is it simple to use and efficient for quick uses, but it helps get a more basic understanding of the connections between a text in order to take that further. It becomes a tool that historians would not typically use  or necessarily want to access from a ‘traditional historian’ aspect because of all the digitalization around it. What I’m essentially getting at is historians are most often the type of people that read something, take notes, read the other paper, take notes, and then compare the two for similarities, differences, patterns, etc. However, these sites are able to do those generic things for you which goes against the traditional historical analysis ideal. It’s interesting that it goes against it because the site Voyant Tools was such an interesting way to look at the two poem’s that we did, because had I not known about the digital text analysis tools I never would have otherwise thought to use them but rather stick to my traditional historical analysis techniques.

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My personal experience with Voyant was quite eye opening. While yeah, it didn’t give me a close, deep analysis of the two poems, it gave me a look into a program I never would have thought to look into. The simpleanalysis that it did comparing specific words in the poems, and the different ways that you could see those patterns displayed was quite eye opening. As a very traditional person, I just write everything down. However, not only did this site save me time and energy, it allowed me to look at the patterns in multiple different formations giving me different links and views to the connected words and patterns which I found really interesting. What I am essentially taking from this digital text analysis website isthat even though it can’t do all the deep analysis for me, it is an easy and time saving way for historians to begin segwaying into their paper by letting the site do the easy analyzing for you.

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Post #4 : Voyant Tools & Digital Text Analysis

This week I had the opportunity to explore voyant tools, as it has evolved to a crucial tool for digital historians. Voyant tools can be identified by website based text reading and analysis environment that is designed to make it more easy for individuals to work with text collections in a variety of different formats. Simply this online tool will allow users to copy and paste there text or URL address into a text box, from there the website will transform the data to the credentials you have chosen. The formats that content can be transferred to includes formats such as, HTML, PDF, RTF, and Microsoft Work witch will ultimately provide historians the insight regarding patterns and unusual behaviour.

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Furthermore voyant tools and digital text analysis platforms also provide visuals such as graphs, scatterplots and a variety of maps that are used for better understand of the information provided. It is critical in this era of technological advancements and globalization to understand the ability of voyant tools and how they quickly analyze patterns in large bodies of text or possibly hinder the historical analysis. The digital text analysis platforms such as voyant tools can be used for both uses, although it is based on what the historian is preparing to analyze. However voyant tools may not be as effective when the length of the content is not long enough, although I could see myself as well as many of my peers using voyant tools to analyze essays specifically looking for repetitive words and occurring speech patterns.

UnknownThe evolution of voyant tools has evolved the analysis of traditional historical reading skills as it has become very beneficial for digital historians to participate with the new online platforms. The development of the new platforms have allowed historians to now view trends that have never been seenbefore, as well its also allowing the ability to specifically search for keywords in a large media archives.

Therefore in conclusion the innovation of voyant tools and digital text analysis will continue to allow individuals to easily and effectively view patterns within media content as well as also predict possible trends rather than the traditional concepts which were considered more time consuming and inaccurate.

 

Mitchell Witherspoon : November 23, 2017

Text Post #4

Throughout my exploration of Voyant Tools, I found a plethora of things to spark my interest. This tool is very interesting because it allows one to copy and paste a section of writing, or plug in a word document off their computer and as a result, this site will produce data based off what was given in the text box or word document. Voyant Tools is also a free site which can be used in many ways. I know that we used it in my highschool English class to see which words we had used the most in our essays and whether or not they were needed that many times. Voyant Tools offers text analysis which would allow those using the site to break down their work and analyze specific details of it.

This site is of major use to historians because by inputting a certain work found at an archaeological site, they can determine the speech patterns of those who lived during that time period. Voyant Tools can show the user how many times a word is present in a work as well as when that word appears, for example if one word always appears after another one, then both words will be brought to the attention of the user.

The ability that Voyant Tools has to analyze text patterns in large bodies of writing can help or hinder the historical analysis. It can do both based on what the historian is attempting to analyze. In large works where speech patterns are being analyzed. However, the site will not be as useful when the body of work is not of a decent length. The site Voyant Tools has proven to be immensely useful to me and I plan on using it again in the future in assistance with my essays not only to find repetitive words, but to analyze my own speech patterns in my essays.