I used DocuBurst for the first time tonight…and I’m still deciding how I think it went. (As a side note, Docuburst is a free online tool that allows the user to visualize content of their own work or published work. The user can search a specific word in a maximum of two documents in order to discover where the word is used or how often it is used. Docuburst calls this word a “root word” because they search through the document for that word and words like it.) I searched in their already created documents; I compared the use of “monster” in Wuthering Heights to Jekyll and Hyde. Docuburst gave me a wonderful visualization of the word in the texts. The “radial sunburst” diagram, as Docuburst calls it, organizes words based on their meaning (and based on the root word) and is color coded to show how often they are used. The visualization includes character names that are linked to the words on the sunburst diagram. This could be a really great tool for researchers, especially students. It allows the user to go in depth with specific texts in order to find patterns or significant points that must be looked at in closer detail.
That being said, I found Docuburst a bit hard to use and understand. It took me a few tries to figure out whether I could use one of their documents or my own. Once I figured out how to work the search engine, it was easy to manipulate. However, when Docuburst gave me my results I was slightly confused at what I was looking at. I had to go back and read the database’s in order to uncover the meaning behind the diagrams I was given. However, once I figured out what the sunburst diagram and the visualization were supposed to show, I still didn’t fully understand my results It seemed their was so much material on the page my eye couldn’t process it. I was also confused at the color coding because their was no menu to tell me what color meant which.
Maybe you can help me uncover the meaning behind the results. Here are my Docuburst results for you to look at:
(One possibility for my confusion at my results could be that my search wasn’t a very good one…)
Nevertheless, I do think that DocuBurst is a wonderful tool and has the potential to be very helpful in the future!
I’ll keep playing around with it and let you know how it goes!