Phrase Net Shows the Secret Life of Words

Apr 1, 2009

Many Eyes, the social data analysis site, released another visualization tool – Phrase Nets:

When you read a book it can feel as if you’re encountering a series of hidden networks–characters who talk to each other, ideas that relate to each other. Our new visualization, the Phrase Net, is designed to bring some of these networks to light.

Upload a body of text and choose connecting words like and or the and the Phrase Net provides a network of words that shows these connections.

For example, the above is a Phrase Net for Pride and Prejudice with “and” selected as the connecting phrase. We see a relationships between Jane and Elizabeth, Caterhie and Lydia, and mother and sister. Choose “at” as the connecting word, and you see the places where a lot of things took place:

Interact with the the Phrase Net with zooming and dragging or enter your own connecting phrases. It took me a moment to wrap my head around the concept, but after playing with it a little bit, I’m kind of surprised by the patterns that emerged. Try it out for yourself (below). What do you think?

[Thanks, Martin]

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