Text Map Text

Bill Pascoe, Jack Newley, Dan Price, 2018

Text Map Text is an initiative of the Centre For 21st Century Humanities along a stream of development for the interdisciplinary theme of digital mapping. At present we have a functional prototype demonstrating feasibility and have established benchmarks to improve performance and add features. The case studies are the Gold Fields project and the Castieau Diaries project.

This will be useful for a wide range of Humanities needs, such as plotting journey narratives and exploring world views and changes in them through texts. Such a system can provide not only a map of places visited but shows the prominence of various places within a world view, or changes in it, represented by the text.

The following feasibility prototypes were created manually and are incomplete, to set benchmarks for comparison.


These case studies demonstrate the core functionality of automatically:

  1. processing a corpus of texts
  2. find places in the texts
  3. plot all places found on a map
  4. link the places on the map to occurrences in the texts
  5. link the occurrences in the texts to points on the map

Planned improvements include:

Success Metrics

Metrics were obtained from the Gold Fields case study.

Please note that while a roughly 50% success rate may seem low, it demonstrates feasibility, and in the case of manually editing texts would mean saving 50% of someone's time in a laborious and repetitive tasks. It also means this is an area where more research in clearly identified areas can lead to substantial improvement.

Success (error rates) of the automated processing are measured in terms of frequencies:



This presents opportunities for future developments and enhancements in each part of the overall architecture of such as system, with these benchmarks enabling demonstration of and quantification of improvement. The components of a system such as this, that can be explored for improvement include: