Visualizing our Senior Editor Columns using Voyeur

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Dr. Jack Yensen
Chief Senior Editor


Yensen, J. (February, 2011).  Editorial: Visualizing our Senior Editor Columns using Voyeur. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI),15 (1). http://ojni.org/issues/?p=229


In this edition, I have added some interactive tools to the concept map for the Senior Editor editorials. I took the text of each of the senior editors’ editorials and combined them into a single text file and then visualized the contents using Many Eyes (2011).

Then, using Crawdad Desktop 2 (2010) software, I did a centering resonance analysis on each of the separate editorials and then added all of the results to a concept map for this group. In addition, I looked at the most recent text analytics tools offered at Voyeur Tools (http://voyeurtools.org/) and saved the results of my analyses as links to the data. I encourage you to explore those links and play with the tools. It will be very interesting to have multiple lenses through which to observe the similarities and differences between the perspectives of our Senior editors.

As you continue exploring text analytics, you may be surprised at the insights you glean or the connections you make that might not have occurred simply through reading each editorial as a text passage. I welcome any and all comments by email.

Visualization of the theme spreadsheet

To see the exact value of a bar, move your mouse over it. In color mode, you can click on the color rectangles in the legend to customize the colors.

To highlight an item, click it. Click outside the chart area to turn highlights off. Your highlights will be saved with any comments you make, so you can easily refer to particular parts of the histogram (pivot table).

To the top left you will see a scrollbox called data column name. This contains each of the top 50 concepts derived from a resonance analysis of the combined editorials. The rows of the matrix represent each of the editors and hovering the mouse over a given row bar will show the resonance value for that concept and editor. This matrix allows a comparison across editors by concepts mentioned in their editorials.

The bubble chart

This is a visualization of the relative importance or weight of concepts in each editorial by editor and allows a visual comparison by concept amongst the editors.

Tag cloud

If you choose to use free text, the tag cloud will strip out punctuation, calculate the frequency of each word, and draw the word at a size that is based on its frequency. The tag cloud will also ignore common words in some languages, such as the word “the” in English.

Whenever the mouse is over a word, information about the occurrences of that word and the context it was used in will be shown in a tooltip.

Phrase net

Phrase net analyzes a text by looking for pairs of words that fit particular patterns. You can specify this pattern by using asterisks as wildcard characters. For instance, the pattern “* and *” will match phrases like “play and sing” or “vexation and regret.” Punctuation matters, so it will not match “left, and then”. You can choose from some useful defaults or you can type your own patterns in the field below the list.

Once you have specified a pattern, the program will create a network diagram of the words it found as matches. Two words will be connected if they occurred in the same phrase. The size of a word is proportional to the number of times it occurred in a match; the thickness of an arrow between words tells you how many times those two words occurred in the same phrase. The color of a word indicates whether it was more likely to be found in the first or second slot of a pattern. The darker the word, the more often it appeared in the first position.

You can pan by right-clicking and dragging, and you can zoom either by using the mouse wheel or by dragging to define an area to zoom to. Click the “reset view” button to fit the entire network on the screen.

Move the mouse over a word to see how many times it occurred in a match, or over an arrow to see how many times a particular pair of words occurred. You can also click on a word to highlight it in orange; this can be helpful when making comments.

Word tree

A word tree is a visual search tool for unstructured text, such as these editorials. It lets you pick a word or phrase and shows you all the different contexts in which it appears. The contexts are arranged in a tree-like branching structure to reveal recurrent themes and phrases. Any word of interest may be typed into the Search box.

Voyeur Tools

From the interactive concept map you can click on Voyeur Tools and look at the analyses yourself.

Here is a static view of the concept map, showing the locations of various analyses:

Concept Map

Here are some screen captures of some of the Voyeur Tools results:

Figure 1 Voyeur Tools Principal Components Analysis

Figure 1 Voyeur Tools Principal Components Analysis

Figure 2 Voyeur Tools Lava Visualization

Figure 2 Voyeur Tools Lava Visualization

Lava allows you to view multiple levels of a corpus in a three-dimensional environment. Clicking on certain documents within the corpus expands the Lava visualization in a ring to explore further. By clicking on certain parts of the visualization, you are able to explore terms within their context. Hovering over each of the colored panels for any editor will show that term or concept in context.

Here is a screen capture comparing concepts across editorials:

concepts across editorials:

Finally here is a concept frequency chart showing the usage trends of concepts between editors. In this particular example, I have shown the differential emphasis on “patient.”

usage trends of concepts between editors


Crawdad Technologies LLC. (2010). Crawdad Desktop 2.0 text analysis software. Retrieved from http://www.crawdadtech.com/html/01_software.html

Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC). (2010). IHMC CmapTools software. Retrieved from http://cmap.ihmc.us/conceptmap.html

International Business Machines (IBM). (2010). Many Eyes. Retrieved from http://www-958.ibm.com/software/data/cognos/manyeyes/

Voyeur Tools. (2011). Voyeur tools: Reveal your texts. Retrieved from http://voyeurtools.org/


Jack Yensen has been involved in online education since 1970, when he first experimented with simulations on mainframes. When personal computers arrived he abandoned (almost) mainframes and time sharing and immersed himself in programming and databases. When networking started to happen, he got involved in very early email and telnet applications, and then realized in 1992 that he could enhance classroom courses and reach students globally using an FTP server to simulate a Web server, when the web first started. Now he has courses and servers and websites all over the place. Every year he visits many campuses and gives presentations and workshops on online or eLearning and shows faculty and staff how to extend courseware functionality (like WebCT and Blackboard), using Java, Flash, HotMedia, streaming audio and video and collaboration or groupware like Teamwave, Webex, & Placeware. He is also a management consultant in healthcare, assisting corporate clients to design and implement virtual universities. Jack has been involved in health and nursing informatics since 1975.

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