Monday, January 25, 2010

Maps and Data Representation

Created by Christian Nold the Affect Browser is a tool for extracting the emotional slant of any text (English for now). In particular it helps to visualise how the particular words used in one text relates to the language of other texts that are focused on the same topic - RFID tags for example. To do this you can load in texts from individual internet webpages or ascii text files from your hardrive.

This is essentially the same idea as Wordle, the programme i used to analyse content for my typographic shrine where predominant semantic connotations are highlighted. The difference being that this is visualized with colours and shapes rather than simply text. The artist has written the programme and made it available for download so anybody can process whatever data they wish to analyse.

This is the artist's website which has a number of fascinating projects linked to peoples emotions and their relationship with their surroundings.

I am intrigued with the concept of visualizing emotion. Being an abstract notion it is something that is intangible. At first it also seems like something almost unquantifiable but here Christian Nold seems to explore different ways in which he can visually represent emotion. He has achieved this by measuring the physical reaction a person has whilst experiencing a certain emotion and then processes the data that has been collected.

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