Mapping meanings

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Analysis of lengthy texts or a large number of documents (corpora, as they are commonly known) can be a daunting task; Text Cloudhowever, new tools are making this process easier while potentially leading to new understandings. The New York Times is running a series of articles on the Digital Humanities that highlight some of the exciting projects under way, in many cases spearheaded by Google. In spite of its deep pockets, Google is not the only game in town when it comes to digital humanities. The National Endowment for the Humanities has set up an office solely devoted to this purpose. The Office of Digital Humanities has also awarded grants under the initiative "Digging into data challenge", funding fascinating projects such as the Republic of Letters.

If you would like to start analyzing texts, a good place to start is TAPoR (Text Analysis Portal for Research). TAPoR has a robust set of tools (see the Fixed-Phrase tool, for example) that can help you make sense of what may seem unfathomable.

Other tools to create concept maps from word lists or work with corpora are: