Assignment 1 : Critical Review of a DH Tool

Voyant Tools

The concept of text analysis has always been intriguing as a whole. By using text analysis it gives one the ability to compare and contrast articles, journals , essays and many other different pieces of writing. My tool of interest is the tool Voyant Tools. Voyant Tools is a free accessible web based text analysis tool that allows one to compare and evaluate two different pieces of writing, showing the comparisons between the two by using colorful graphs, word clouds , a corpus reader and various other formats. The interesting concept of this digital tool is that it can be used freely for everyone and not just digital scholars. Personally,  I have used this tool many times on different occasions and find it extremely helpful and also quite interesting to play around with.

An article that is extremely beneficial in outlining how to use this particular tool  is the article “Using Voyant Tools for Basic Text Analysis” (Trammell, 2014) Throughout this article we are shown in explicit detail of how  “Voyant tools” works as it highlights the steps involved into creating your very own text analysis, this is extremely beneficial especially for those who are unfamiliar with the concept of text analysis. By reading this article it definitely gives one a  greater insight into how this tool works, there is an  excellent step to step approach on how to make a text analysis and there are some great examples given at the end of the article, it even highlights the key features of the tools which includes a “cirrus, summary and a corpus reader”. I then decided to conduct my very own text analysis on two articles similar in style about the topic surrounding climate change, (“What Is Climate Change? | NASA,” 2014) and (“What is climate change?,” n.d.)  Below is the attached result (1), as you can see majority of the words are similar in context and the results are presented in three types of format as mentioned from above. You can see how many words appeared frequently and how many  distinctive words are in the article. You have the option to chose from a correlation graph which shows how frequently words appear or bubblelines which does the same thing. There are endless options to suit everyone.

Unfortunately I was unsuccessful in finding a roadmap for this particular tool, however there are varies text analysis tools similar to that of Voyant tools in which I have discussed two particular ones down below. Voyant Tools is an extremely stable tool as it provides all the necessary information needed on its official website, there is a help page, tutorials and even examples.  There are many great reviews based on people’s experience with Voyant Tools which are all complimentary. According to Ghithub ” Voyant Tools is an open-source project and the code is available through GitHub The code is under a GPL3 Licence and the content of the web application is under a creative commons by attribution license” (Sinclair, 2011/2018)

During my research I discovered two tools similar to that of  Voyant Tools.One of those tools was “Text Analysis Software” this tool is more clear and decisive in nature, unfortunately this tool does not come for free and does cost money however you are allowed one free trial, this tool must also be downloaded onto your device, however this tool is much easier to follow as sometimes Voyant Tools can be somewhat unclear unlike “Text Analysis Software” which has a more clear and smooth approach, the layout  is more precise and definite although it lacks color , the information is laid out in a manner that is easy and clear to follow. Another useful text analysis tool similar to that of Voyant Tools is “Text analyzer” which is quite similar to that of Voyant Tools this is also free to use and the layout is more or less the exact same, however this tool gives you the percentages, occurrences of words and  how many characters are in the texts. This tool is quite simple and quite clear however it does lack color and creativity that is evident to that of  Voyant Tools which uses colorful charts and word clouds.

Fortunately Voyant Tools is an open source web based text analysis tool which is freely available for everyone to use, this gives those the chance to understand what the true meaning of text analysis is and how they can conduct their very own analysis without worrying about the cost. It is remarkable that  you can implement as much text as you wish without fail, there is also a range of different languages to chose from adding to its simplicity. To conduct a text analysis on Voyant Tools you must first paste a copy of any URL link of your chosen website/article that you wish to analyse into the text bar as shown below (2).  Once you are finished implementing both pieces of writings into this text bar you are then able to copy a link of your final results which can then be embedded or shared into documents/pages. Unfortunately you cannot save or download your analysis but can only copy the link.  According to Wikipedia (“Voyant Tools,” 2017)  Voyant tools was released in 2003. Voyant Tools has been expressed as “powerful and versatile” (ab15, 2016).

From evaluating and reading various articles based on this digital tool it has really helped me shape my understanding on “Voyant Tools” as of before I did not fully understand the depth and creativity of this tool and how it worked. This tool is one of the most reliable text analysis tool that I have come across, the results are clear and quite accurate. From my experience I would definitely recommend this tool to those who are interested in conducting their own text analysis, however if I were to change a certain feature,  I would definitely change the way you can save the final result, it would more suitable to save or download your result rather than embedding a link onto a page. I would also make the layout of the results more clear and spaced out as sometimes I find it overwhelming trying to read the final results.

 

 

(1) Here is the final result conducted from both of the climate change articles.

(2) Here we see the bar where you must implement the URL links.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

ab15. (2016, October 18). A Review of Voyant Tools – INTRO TO DIGITAL HUMANITIES. Retrieved February 16, 2018, from http://jamesfreemanhistorian.org/dhintro/wp/2016/10/18/a-review-of-voyant-tools/

Sinclair, S. (2018). Contribute to Voyant development by creating an account on GitHub. JavaScript. Retrieved from https://github.com/sgsinclair/Voyant (Original work published 2011)

Trammell, A. (2014, October 10). Using Voyant Tools for Basic Text Analysis | Commons Knowledge – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Retrieved February 10, 2018, from https://publish.illinois.edu/commonsknowledge/2014/10/10/using-voyant-tools-for-basic-text-analysis/

Voyant Tools. (2017, October 19). In Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Voyant_Tools&oldid=806103638

What is climate change? (n.d.). Retrieved February 17, 2018, from http://www.takepart.com/flashcards/what-is-climate-change

What Is Climate Change? | NASA. (2014, May 14). Retrieved February 17, 2018, from https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/k-4/stories/nasa-knows/what-is-climate-change-k4.html