General:Voyeur Cirrus





Cirrus is a visualization tool that displays a word cloud relating to the frequency of words appearing in one or more documents. One can click on any word appearing in the cloud to obtain detailed information about its relativity. The larger the word, the more frequent the term. Once you arrive to Cirrus, insert / upload your content and let the tool perform its analysis. You will be presented with a "Wordle" type visualization. You may click on words to find data pertaining to that word within your corpus.


  • A URL, some text, or a document, if available. Alternatively, you can use one of the corpora included with Cirrus.

Preloaded Corpora

Basic Steps

  1. Go to to load a document. Alternatively, use a preloaded corpus by clicking on one of the links above, and then skip ahead to step 4.
  2. Provide a URL of a document you would like to visualize, or paste in some text. You can also upload your own document or open one of the included corpora by clicking the appropriate buttons.
  3. Click "Reveal."
  4. Study the cloud. The larger the word, the more prevalent it is.
  5. Hovering over a word will cause a box to appear that displays the frequency count for that term.
  6. If a word is clicked, you are taken to an analysis of the word within the document(s). On the right side, Voyeur displays the relativity of the word in each of the document(s). (This is the Document Term Frequencies tool.)
  7. Click on the "gear" button at the top of the box and choose the Taporware stop word list from the dropdown menu, and then click "OK." Note how common words disappear from the results.

Suggested Activities

  • Try to develop new insights into the text by looking at the diagram.
  • Find words of particular interest and investigate them with the Term Frequencies tool.


There is a screencast explaining how to load texts here:


It is important to remember that this is a beta release, which means that there will be bugs. Don’t trust everything you see without stopping to consider that it might be a mistake of some kind. As Stéfan says, “expect the unexpected.”


A document describing Cirrus is available here:

Who has worked on creating it

Voyeur is the product of Stéfan Sinclair and Geoffrey Rockwell.

Where to read about it

No papers have been published at this point, although the journal Literary and Linguistic Computing has published many articles that show the kind of work that is possible with a tool like Voyeur. Here is one example:

Fink, Peter. “The Evolution of Order in the Chapter Lengths of Trollope's Novels.” Literary & Linguistic Computing (21:3) Sep 2006, 275-282.

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