Voyant, Kepler.gl and Palladio are useful tools of digital humanities. They help the researchers to make sense of a large collection of information through “macroview”. By processing a large pool of data, the softwares may show the researchers what they did not find or realize before. These softwares bring new possibilities. However, they are have different highlight in terms of data processing.
Voyant highlights text analysis. It’s a tool to mainly analyze texts. It makes the reading easier by showing a word frequency list (word cloud), word distribution plot (graphs), summary of key words and the context where the key words are. The interface composes of these panels. Voyant can be applied to analyze texts in a wide range of contexts such as literature, historical narrative and language teaching. For example, to use Voyant to analyze the WPA slave narrative collection. By the tool, a user can see the key words of narratives of each state, or the places of each state. A user can also grasp the similarities and differences of the states by analyzing the corpus. Voyant makes the analysis of such a large collection much easier, faster and more informative. The text-mining tool is a good source to learn about texts in new ways.
Kepler.gl highlights the geospatial side of texts. It is a visualization tool to process geospatial data. For example, the location data of the WPA slave narrative collection. Through Kepler.gl, you can see the map view of location information, where slaves were interviewed, where they were enslaved, etc. By clicking a dot on the map, you can the information of this location: the interviewee, the interviewer, where this place locates etc and the relationship between sets of information. To use the tool, a user need to select your dataset and the tool automatically captures the variables and data points and lays it out on a pretty looking map visualization. You can also add filters, apply scales and perform visual aggregations “on the fly”. Kepler.gl is powerful to analyze location-specific data and show the results on neat looking data-driven maps.
Palladio is a tool that highlights visualizing relationships/networks, with a map view. It stresses more over this relationship/network than the map itself. So, it’s not a mapping program but a “network” program. With Palladio, you can analyze the data by uploading data and visualize within the browser without any barriers. In the Map view, you can see any coordinates data as points on a map. Relationships between distinct points can be connected by lines, with the arc of the line representing the flow of the relationship. In the Graph view, you can visualize the relationships between any two dimensions of your data. Graph information will be displayed as nodes connected by lines. Nodes can be scaled to reflect their relative magnitude within your data. The display of links and labels can be toggled on and off. But you can’t get the information of a location (a point on the map) by just clicking the point. Palladio stressed more over relationship than the specific information of a place on the map.
These three tools highlight different sides of the text analysis and visualize the data. You can add a layer of lines to make a map in Kepler.gl which is the same as that made by Palladio. These three tools complement each other well because they different highlights of data processing and visualize different sizes of the same data. For example, you can use the information found by Voyant in Palladio. You find the mostly used word in the corpus and find its relationship to each state by using Palladio. Or you can work more with location-specific data on mapping the key words through Kepler.gl.
In short, Voyant, Kepler.gl and Palladio open a new window for the study and research of humanities. By processing data and visualizing them, they either make the text reading easier or help researchers make new discoveries of the texts.