Xavier Ho
2015 / 08 / 20
Turning books into data art.

Wordscapes is about connections, starlight, and cityscapes. Drawn from Project Gutenberg books from the 1900’s, we lift the words into a sea of stars. Topical and resonating words are connected by their occurrence, use, and frequency, each a different, vibrant colour. Same words form a stack of skyscrapers at the bottom of the image, representing the cityscape of all words in the book. Each image is unique for the book it is drawn from, injecting a certain emotion and meaning.

Above: "Laughter", based on a community translation of Henry Bergson's 1900 essay, "Le Rire".

Phil Gough and I co-authored digitally generated artworks based on public domain books. We are proud to say that our work is being featured by the SIGGRAPH Digital Arts Community.

Below: "Knowledge", based on Alexander Phillips' 1915 essays published in "Towards a Theory of Knowledge."


Next: "Morals" (unpublished), based on a 1912 reprint edition of David Hume's 1777 work, "An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals".


About the author

Xavier Ho

Xavier Ho is the creator of Roguelike Universe, Smoke and Fire, and other interactive data visualisations. He works at Monash Art, Design and Architecture, often pulling from the intersection of data visualisation, design, society, and systems thinking.

Profile art by Franpaccio.

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