What's TRAViz?

One of the substantial tasks in the field of textual criticism is called collation, which is the cautious comparison of various editions of one and the same text. The traditional approach of a humanities scholar is to put the texts of several editions next to each other and mark the differences among the textual entities (e.g., sentences, sections, chapters). Since this is an extremely laborious approach many Digital Humanities projects investigate tools that support the humanities scholars with computational methods.

TRAViz is a JavaScript library that was developed within the Digital Humanities project eTRACES. It generates visualizations for Text Variant Graphs that show the variations between different editions of texts. TRAViz supports the collation task by providing methods to:

  • align various editions of a text
  • visualize the alignment
  • improve the readability for Text Variant Graphs compared to other approaches
  • interact with the graph to discover how individual editions disseminate

An Example: Genesis 1:1

The following example demonstrates the basic idea of TRAViz. Various English translations of the Bible exist, each one was written with a specific intention. The spellings and chosen terms differ among these editions. Enclosed, we list seven translations of the first Bible verse - Genesis 1:1:

American Standard Version In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Bible in Basic English At the first God made the heaven and the earth.
Darby Bible In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
King James Version In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
World English Bible In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Young's Literal Translation In the beginning of God`s preparing the heavens and the earth --
New Life Version In the beginning God made from nothing the heavens and the earth.

TRAViz can be utilized to compute the alignment between these various editions of Genesis 1:1 and to visualize the resultant Text Variant Graph. Now, one is able to explore the similarities and differences among the given editions easily.


For the support of friends and family and fruitful discussions with colleagues, TRAViz wants to say "Thank You" to: Christin Richter, Anna Jänicke, Marco Büchler, Annette Geßner, Gerik Scheuermann, Christian Heine and the 54 participants of the TRAViz readability survey!