Text Visualization – Emma Watson’s UN speech

For our next DH tools and methodologies assignment we were told to get “Intimate with text” (not in that way !). I decided to choose Emma Watson’s powerful HeforShe speech for the UN. In her impassioned speech she spoke on feminism and invited men and boys to join in the fight for gender equality. Through the use of visualization tools I could see that she repeatedly spoke of men and women in equal amounts. I tried a number of digital tools in order to try and help visualize the text.


I began with http://voyant-tools.org/ which I found very good. It was quiet helpful that the text was still on the screen in front of me. I was also given a word cloud but it was very small and squished into the corner of the page. One thing I didn’t like about Voyant was the fact that it included the common words – in, the, a, I, as, to, is – in the word cloud. These filler words took up a lot of space in the word cloud shadowing the important words. The overall page itself had a very flattering design and layout. I especially liked the ‘Word Trends‘ section which showed the occurrences of a selected word over the course of the text. This was very good to see when each word was focused on,  it was also good for analyzing the speech.

I also played around with http://www.wordle.net/ and I really liked the visualizations it created. The word cloud was both big and bright and easily edited to my specifications. The layout made it simple to vary the colours, fonts, layout and even language which allows you to remove all common words. Although Wordle made it very easy to visualize it wasn’t as easy to analyse the text with it. I could only see the most used words but not where in the text they occurred. But I would highly recommend it for visualizations. Wordle created this image from Emma Watson’s speech;


Another tool I tried was https://vida.io/ but I found it very complicated and awkward to use. It was so bad that I couldn’t understand it enough to even find how to visualize the speech never mind anything else. I also tried http://www.wordsift.com/ and found it was very like Wordle. Yet on Wordsift, it also showed a thesaurus of any selected word and gave an image search aswell which I found very useful. It was very useful when processing the text.



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