I love the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. Every year, I come back with new motivation, a new perspective, and new resources. I’ll be doing nine posts on Hopper today, given that I’m terribly behind because I focused on tweeting during the conference this year.
Below is my first post-Hopper product for me. After hearing one of the best presentations I’ve attended from Google’s Fernanda Viegas on data visualization, I couldn’t wait to see how I could use her tools (such as Web Seer and Many Eyes) in my current research. Below is my first stab at it:
After finishing Matt Hill’s scholarly analysis of Dr Who on the plane, I began reading my Fagels translation of The Iliad (an awesome birthday present from a friend!). For the significance of the relationship of these two works, see this. So the first rich dataset I could think of was that text, specifically from the eminent Project Gutenberg. Less than half an hour from arriving at home, I had made an account on Many Eyes, and was manipulating the 1898 Samuel Butler translation. Even more fun than the word cloud above (manipulable here), is this word tree of occurrences of the word “Trojan” in The Iliad:
Here is my description for the image (which you may play with here):
This is a word tree from a complete 1898 translation of Homer’s Iliad, showing all of the sentences which include the word Trojan, organized by frequency. To me, this data visualization shows what people in the Iliad were saying about the Trojans, and which characterizations of them were most influential. It is exciting because it shows that the Achaeans described the Trojans through their military, but the second most popular association was with their women. Euripides is validated?
Data-visualization is awesome.
Merchant: Well now. Word on the Mount is you’re looking for time travel.
River: Are you selling?
Merchant: A vortex manipulator. Fresh off the wrist of a handsome time agent. I said off the wrist. Not cheap, Dr. Song. Have you brought me a pretty toy?
River: This is a Calisto Pulse. It can disarm micro-explosives from up to twenty feet.
Merchant: What kind of micro-explosives?
River: The kind I just put in your wine.