DHC Weekly 9/12- Ecosia

Hello Digital Humanists and welcome back to the second week of classes! This week’s topic is looking at a search engine that my friend told me about, Ecosia. Ecosia is a search engine that promises that with every search, they plant a tree, pretty cool right?

The number updates about every second, you have no idea how long it took me to get a good screenshot

How does it compare to Google? That’s a great question! Terms of Service, Didn’t Read gives the engine a “B,” compared to Google’s “C” rating. Ecosia does collect your data, but they do not sell it to third parties. Further, you can request that no data be collected through the site. What’s the most important about this is that you don’t necessarily need TOSDR to figure this information out. All of it is listed on the website. Another cool thing I found is that Ecosia publishes its financial reports, so you can see where this money is going! You can easily find what information they’re getting If you’d like to learn more about TOSDR, check out our previous post-bacc’s blogpost on it!

Okay, so how does a search engine plant a tree for every search? Well, Ecosia explains this on the website.

Not only do they explain how they plant trees, they also let you know how they use advertisements without infringing on your privacy.

Not going to lie, ironically, this blogpost is starting to seem like a sponsored advertisement. It’s not though!

The final question, though, how does it work?

I tried out a few searches to see how they match up to Google. I looked up “Greta Thunberg,” it just seemed topical.

There are only a handful of differences between the searches. The news sources are slightly different. Google, understandably, has way more resources to get the most up to date stories. Ecosia, on the other hand, has slightly older new (a whole day old). Everything else is pretty similar. I would suggest if you’re worried about getting the most up-to-date news or you specifically want to use something like Google Scholar, look for other options. That being said, for any basic search, I can’t seem to find any reason not to use Ecosia! Further, it’s constantly updating, so may check out if someday soon there will be an Ecosia Scholar that we can all use when it’s 2AM, the library’s closed, and we have a paper due tomorrow!

DHC Weekly 4/19: Corpora Works of Mercy

Last week on the blog, I wrote about Voyant, a text anaysis tool that can be used to discover all sorts of stats about a text or a corpus of texts — what words are used most frequently, in what combinations, in what contexts, and so on. I used The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes as my test corpus, because its consistent tone and easily accessible public domain status makes it an ideal example for the sorts of questions textual analysis tools like Voyant can prompt one to ask of a literary text. But what other sorts of corpora are out there, and what sorts of projects does analyzing them lead to? Today, I want to write about a publically accessible collection of English language corpora amassed by Mark Davies, a professor of linguistics at Brigham Young University. 

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DHC Weekly 4/12: Voyant and Text Analysis

Hello DH fans!

This week we’re leaving mapping behind us and turning to a category of DH tools oft-utilized in the classroom: text analysis! I’m going to be taking a look at one of the most oft-used text analysis tools, Voyant! Voyant is so popular because it’s quite out-of-the-box easy to use, with no coding necessary. In practice, I have found this to mean that Voyant is a little idiosyncratic and difficult  — but I’m going to try to break down its basics for you all this week!

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