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Interactive Tool Visualizes Tolkien's Works

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the get-your-herd-on dept.

Books 33

dsjodin writes "Last year, LotrProject brought us extraordinary statistics on the population of Middle-Earth. Now, they have released an interactive tool for analysis of the Silmarillion, the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. With keyword frequency search, character mentions, sentiment analysis and network diagrams of character interactions it is a beautiful set of data visualizations and fascinating for fans and non-fans alike. The site can for example be used to find out that bacon is mentioned seven times in the Hobbit while only two times throughout the entire the Lord of the Rings."

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bacon? (3, Funny)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year and a half ago | (#42936253)

The site can for example be used to find out that bacon is mentioned seven times in the Hobbit while only two times throughout the entire the Lord of the Rings."

because I for one have always wondered just how many times they talk about bacon in a book/movie with dragons / eyes that live on top of mountains and rings that turn you invisible. Thank you SOOO much, now I can finally rest at night.

Re:bacon? (2, Funny)

siride (974284) | about a year and a half ago | (#42936269)

They're just pandering to the reddit crowd.

I love the idea (5, Insightful)

Kirkman14 (2442696) | about a year and a half ago | (#42936399)

because I for one have always wondered just how many times they talk about bacon in a book/movie with dragons / eyes that live on top of mountains and rings that turn you invisible.

Seems like it would be useful in exploring how the styles of his books changes. The Hobbit, LOTR, and the Silmarillion each have different tones and vocabularies.

Re:I love the idea (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42936449)

It shows that Tolkien became progressively less anti-Semetic in his writings. See, betcha didn't know that.

Re:I love the idea (5, Interesting)

sed quid in infernos (1167989) | about a year and a half ago | (#42936695)

I know this is just a joke, but it did remind me of Tolkien's snarky letter to the Nazis [io9.com] in response to their demand he prove his Aryan extraction. In part:

Thank you for your letter. I regret that I am not clear as to what you intend by arisch. I am not of Aryan extraction: that is Indo-Iranian; as far as I am aware none of my ancestors spoke Hindustani, Persian, Gypsy, or any related dialects. But if I am to understand that you are enquiring whether I am of Jewish origin, I can only reply that I regret that I appear to have no ancestors of that gifted people.

Re:I love the idea (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#42936925)

And that is why you try to avoid talking to academic experts in any fields that your favorite poorly thought out pet theory steals jargon from...

Re:I love the idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42938097)

Wow, that link was so mind blowing that even the comment thread is simply awesome.

Re:I love the idea (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42938071)

The order being written is also odd.

Tolkien constantly reworked older material to make things more consistent. The Silmarillion as text came before the LOTR or The Hobbit... And part of the LOTR came before the Hobbit, but others came after... and all three reworked after the Hobbit was out. The Silmarillion became the bible used to keep things logical, though the final version of the Silmarillion didn't come out until long after LOTR was out...

Re:I love the idea (2)

beschra (1424727) | about a year and a half ago | (#42938447)

the Silmarillion didn't come out until long after LOTR was out...

... and Tolkien was dead.

Re:I love the idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42938509)

... and Tolkien was dead.

Hey, he started talking smack about Melkor, what do you expect?

Re:I love the idea (1)

Jaruzel (804522) | about a year and a half ago | (#42942961)

True, but he started writing the Silmarillion BEFORE LotR as a sequel to The Hobbit, but the publisher rejected it. So he put it on the back burner, and started 'The New Hobbit' aka LotR.

Strangely, I didn't know this before about an hour ago, when co-coincidently, I was reading the Wikipedia article on The Hobbit (for some other, unconnected reason)...

-Jar

Mixed feelings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42936447)

Incredible proof of concept and tecnique demo, but also a great waste of time and resources.

Re:Mixed feelings (4, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year and a half ago | (#42936481)

One man's waste of time and resources is another's inspiration and breakthrough.

Re:Mixed feelings (3, Funny)

theVarangian (1948970) | about a year and a half ago | (#42936809)

One man's waste of time and resources is another's inspiration and breakthrough.

It's funny how some people just classify everything as weird or useless if they see no sense or use in it. I have the habit of eating fries with strong mustard rather than ketchup. A friend of mine was appalled when he saw me do this and gave me a long lecture on how unappetising it was, after ranting on for a while he finally got tired of it and dug into his gouda-cheese, mayonnaise and jam sandwich.

Re:Mixed feelings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42937045)

One man's waste of time and resources is another's inspiration and breakthrough.

And yet you're the one posting on an anonymous forum of zero value?

Re:Mixed feelings (1)

NateWhilk (2577859) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939835)

There is not a one-to-one correspondence between the two.

Re:Mixed feelings (1)

Cederic (9623) | about a year and a half ago | (#42936723)

Excellent way of learning data analysis and visualisation techniques. He'll have gained personally and as a by-product has created an interesting resource for others.

Not sure that's a waste of time or resources at all, especially if you start factoring in the enjoyment the whole exercise probably provided to him.

Re:Mixed feelings (3, Insightful)

beep54 (1844432) | about a year and a half ago | (#42938093)

Consider however that Joyce scholars have been doing this type of thing for quite some time now. Except that in large part it was more or less by hand.

Re:Mixed feelings (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about a year and a half ago | (#42942463)

Well, I personally will be sharing the link with my fellow students on a Coursera MOOC on Natural Language Processing, because it's not only a good technique demo, it's also an excellent choice of material. The Lord of the Rings alone is a considerably large "single text" for analysis, the contrast between "children's book" (the Hobbit) and "adult literature" (LotR) is noteworthy (other authors have worked in both genres, but not all that many) and then there's the continuity between all three component works.

Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42936725)

...is this on the front page of /. ??

Score another point for reddit over /.

Re:Why (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about a year and a half ago | (#42942691)

...is this on the front page of /. ??

Because it's really, really geeky, therefore perfect Slashdot material. I think you're the sort who doesn't grok grep, and we don't like your type round here...

Re:Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42942979)

Give it up, /. is fully of hipsters these days, whose biggest problems in life is what apple product to play with in public spaces so as to out-cool all the other hipsters...

[Posted as AC because I kinda like my Excellent Karma and don't want to be modded down just for stating a fact.]

Peter Jackson? (4, Funny)

johnnyb (4816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42936745)

By "creating a LotR visualization tool", does that mean they have cloned Peter Jackson?

shIt... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42936887)

FrEeBSD project, show that bFreeBSD

"...and non-fans alike"? (2)

briancox2 (2417470) | about a year and a half ago | (#42937797)

I don't think LOTR fans understand non-fans in the slightest degree...

Counting Bacon? (1)

Toad-san (64810) | about a year and a half ago | (#42938575)

Someone _really_ needs to get a life!

Of course that precious bit of information will be just the thing to drop on any LOTR trivia freaks.

Toad

Bacon Number (1)

nuckfuts (690967) | about a year and a half ago | (#42938649)

Is that Kevin Bacon they're talking about?

Re:Bacon Number (1)

Jaruzel (804522) | about a year and a half ago | (#42942987)

Bacon Number is now effectively useless now that every man and his dog will be co--starring with him on The Following :(

I shall still cling to my personal Bacon Number of #4 with pride though.

-Jar

Obligatory XKCD reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939523)

For the all-time best LoTR visualization, "Movie Narrative Charts"
      http://xkcd.com/657/

ME-DEM Demo (1)

Skystrider (927762) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939803)

Speaking of visualizing data from Lord of the Rings, the Middle Earth DEM project has just released a 3D viewer in collaboration with Outerra. You can get the announcement and download directions at the Outerra forums. http://www.outerra.com/forum/index.php?topic=1491.0 [outerra.com]

itty bitty challenge (0)

eamonman (567383) | about a year and a half ago | (#42940881)

hmm the only challenge I could see out of this was to figure out words that were used in one book but not in the others. While that's pretty easy for the Silmarillion and Hobbit, the individual LoTR books are harder.

Off the top of my head:
Silmarillion: maiar
Hobbit: Gloin
FoTR: Goldberry
RoTK: pyre (!)

hmm I can't get anything off the top of my head for TT. Tried Treebeard, Orthanc but oh well.

Re:itty bitty challenge (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about a year and a half ago | (#42941055)

Gloin was mentioned many times in LOTR, a la "Gimli, son of Gloin". IIRC, Gloin was the head of the Dwarf delegation at the Council of Elrond.

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