Lab Session: Cultural Analytics

  1. What kinds of patterns are being examined and how are they being measured in the projects found at the Stanford Literary Lab?


All of the projects examine different patterns in a specific genre or geographic region within works of prose or literature. Large amounts of literature are being processed by computers to summarize certain patterns by analyzing words, places or terms that are mentioned. They examined how older books and genres are brought into the 21st century through new forms of analysis. By using specific tools, scholars can see trends and generate data through ways that don’t require the same amount of time as reading through the books manually.

  1. Review the visualizations listed below.  What makes these visualizations successful?


How would you measure their success?  If you had to develop a list of features that make these visualizations successful, what might those include?

We would measure their success based on how interactive/user friendly the interface appears to be. The ones that we liked (1 and 2) felt extremely 3-Dimensional and interactive. There were many pictures and colors. Different colors are used to appeal to users and separate different parts of display. The third and fourth site did not do this as well as the first two due to poor designs that don’t capture the user’s attention. The amount of words in the third and fourth is too much and the visualization of data, such as graphs and maps are not as compelling as the first and second one.


If we had to develop a list of features, it would include:

  • 3D and interactive features
  • Pictures and different colors to label different time period or different geographic region
  • Clean and concise design
  1. Go to Dirt (Digital Research Tools) and choose one (1) tool listed under “Analyze Data” and one tool listed under “Visualize Data.”  How might these tools be useful in analyzing large amounts of data?

Visualeyes (Analyze Data) transforms large amounts of data into interactive and concise graphs, charts, maps, and video. It can be used to summarize a trend over history and to analyze historical events.


Google Correlate (Visualize Data) shows the popularity of certain terms in a certain period time and certain geographic region. It visualizes large amount of data and summarizes the trend and distribution over time. It shows where and how popular a certain phrase is.


Jill Fu and Georgia Miller

Feb 2, 2017