Distant-Reading The Crisis Lab

 Analyzing The Crisis using Voyant visualization tools.

By: Tyler Trzecki, Andrew, Jacob, Nathaniel, and Vivek

Voyant Tools is a data visualization site that scans a site, or text and processes the frequencies of words used. For this lab, the magazine The Crisis was loaded into Voyant Tools to illustrate the frequencies of words used.

digital

We chose the word “white” to search in Voyant Tools. By using the trends widget we were able to see that between issues the usage of the word “white” fluctuated greatly. As we moved through the issues the word’s usage decreased. The Trends widget allows us to visualize the number of times the word “white” was used in each issue and overall in the magazine, however in visualizing how many times it is used, the reader loses the context in which it was used.

Using the cirrus widget we get an overall view of how many times the word “white” appears in all of the issues. The cirrus widget allows us to compare the appearance of words to each other through their sizing. Larger words appear more often than smaller words. While the Trends widget gives us a good view of how the usage of the word “white” varies among each issue, the cirrus widget illustrates a comparison between unique words’ appearances in all of the issues.

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