“Mapping” the ESV Linguistically: Sentence Paths

OpenBible.info has created a linguistic “map” of the ESV. It looks like this:
Gray, blue, and pink lines dominate the visualization, intersecting with each other frequently.

The blue lines show quotes from people, and the light red lines show quotes from God and Jesus. The full-size graphic reduces words to a single pixel and uses lines to indicate sentence length.

A closeup of the book of Joshua looks like this:

The long lines in the lower left corner show the catalog of kings and lands in Joshua 12 and 13, punctuated by a discourse from God (the red lines). The lighter dots show all the proper names in the catalog.

This kind of visualization may not lead to huge insights, but it provides a new way for people to interact with texts. As an OpenBible.info blog post notes, interactivity would make these visualizations a lot more useful.

The visualization makes use of some datasets we have. The quote colors come from the Bible Quote Speakers dataset that we made with Mechanical Turk. The proper-name colors come from our Proper Names dataset, which catalogs and categorizes all the proper names in the ESV. Both datasets are now available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license.

Does this kind of dataset excite you? Check out the biblical-names-database Google Group, which aims to create a unified address space for biblical names. UBS has already donated two massive datasets. We’d certainly be happy to see our two datasets above added to this group’s data.

Stefanie Posavec’s visualizations of On the Road inspired this visualization. Crossway staff assisted in its production.