What is Vera?

Vera is a tool for text visualisation that transforms language into shapes. We believe that data visualization can help to better understand the complexity of different writing styles, since style is something that can’t be measured. Vera is Alejandra Striuk’s bachelor graduation project in Graphic Design.

Why Vera?

The Muses appeared in the ancient Greece (Calliope, Melpomene...) and maintained their significance during many years of history especially in painting (Saskia for Rembrandt, Gala for Dalí). Numerous examples of this phenomenon can also be found in literature. Vladimir Nabokov dedicated all his novels to his wife Vera, who was not only his partner but also translated many of his books. Vera refers to truth, truthful. We pretend to make our method of analysis veracious.

What is its purpose?

Vera aims to show the importance of language in our society. Using a number of factors that can be consulted in Analysis, we can see that the language is degrading and each time is in major danger. The novels of great writers are good examples of the richness of the language, that is why they were taken for the analysis.

How are the visualizations made?

For our analysis we used Wordnet, an English word database developed by the University of Princeton, and the external library RiTa for the programming environment Processing. Both are free tools that permit to work with texts and create its visual representation. The way to represent the texts is based on the material found in the consulted linguistic studies.

What is interesting about them?

The visualization creates a new type of reading experience and gives you a chance to interact with text in a different way. Users can move freely within the text, analyse it and draw conclusions that might be left unnoticed during the reading. Vera enables you to see the whole novel in a new way, select abstracts that you want to read and compare the results with other texts.

Why are there mistakes in the classification?

The results of the linguistic analyses are completely determined by the used software. In this case, the structure of Wordnet into sets of cognitive synonyms (synsets), each of which expresses a different concept, does not permit to choose each time the correct meaning, so that the word is always classified by its first meaning.

Alejandra Striuk

Graphic designer currently living in Madrid. Check out my personal website striuk.net or contact me via: