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This interactive chart maps out all the storylines in The Hobbit

Illustration for article titled This interactive chart maps out all the storylines in emThe Hobbit/em

The highs and lows of The Hobbit are made instantaneously clear here in this nifty interactive chart, which maps out both the evolving character relationships and the emotional ups-and-downs they experience as the story unfolds.

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Natalia Bilenko, a grad student in the University of California at Berkeley's Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, and Asako Miyakawa, also of Berkeley, put together the interactive as a way to visualize the narrative structure of the entire book, but also to show what they call the individual "emotional path" of each character.

A quick click on Gollum, for instance, shows a few brief positive spikes during his riddle-off with Bilbo (though it doesn't last long), while Bilbo's emotional path falls and rises throughout. They also created similar graphics for Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore and Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie.

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You can check out the whole project here.

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DISCUSSION

I like this kind of thing, but I'd be interested in hearing from people how they've used such visualizations in their own research — just some examples of practical applications of such data visualizations.