Seeing the Prism: We Have Visualizations!!

I am happy to report that we have successfully build visualization capabilities into Prism!  Once users have highlighted the text according to the set categories, the users click on the submit button, which takes them to the visualization page! The users can then click on the categories at the right-hand side of the page to see how people have marked up the text, one category at a time.  The words will all turn the color that corresponds to the category, and the words will increase in size depending on how frequently they have been marked for that category.  Here’s how Jefferson’s “Notes of the State of Virginia” has been marked up for “rhetoric”:
Here’s how the same text was marked for “orientalism”:
Here’s how the same text was marked for “social Darwinism”:
social Darwinism
As you can probably guess from the results, I didn’t actually spend time making sure that I’ve highlighted in accordance with the categories; this is merely a proof of concept.
This visualization functionality is built with the help of the d3.js library; it’s amazingly powerful for all visualization needs!
The design team will now work on making it look even more attractive, but at least we know that we’ll have visualizations to show.
Our next task is to make sure that only users with accounts can highlight texts and see the resulting visualizations. More info next week!

Annie was a 2012-2013 Scholars' Lab Fellow, a 2011-12 Praxis Fellow and a PhD candidate in the Department of English.

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