textsight in R

textsightr: a R shiny application

Some time ago Thomas (my post doc supervisor at Warwick) was messing around with textSight, a tool that helps you visualize text documents. It has a bunch of cool features like tracking the sentiment of the text as it unfolds, searching for specific words in the text. He made a few R shiny apps that allow you to probe and explore famous literary works like the Bible and Romeo and Juliet in a new light.

I wrote a simple R shiny app which allows you to input your own text (as long as it is in a .txt file!) and visualize it in the same way. You can even download the data and do funky stuff with it. Just for fun I frequently use it to visualize the reviews I get–and usually observe a noticeable dip in sentiment when it comes to Reviewer #2.

textSight is really a poor man’s implementation of the fascinating work done by Dodds and Danforth over at the Computational Story Lab at Vermont, who have built way more sophisticated tools to explore the emotional arcs of stories and quantify how narratives evolve and differ across cultures. Their lab website is amazing and a good way to whittle some hours away if you have the time…

Hope that you find textSight useful and/or interesting!