A core concept behind the visualisation model is Mikhail Bakhtin’s "chronotope" or time-space for literature. These are represented on the map by colour values

In "Forms of Time and of the Chronotope in the Novel", Mikhail Bakhtin describes various forms of chronotope. Bakhtin’s categories are represented by a list of colour values which to represent different kind of spatio-temporal phases within each text.

The colours used throughout the visualisation correspond to Bakhtin’s range Chronotopes. The chronotope colours used the terrain merge and blend to give an overall impression of the range of predominant chronotypes that are prevalent in each space



Example Visualisations

Several types of sample texts have been marked up using CLAYE, the 'Comparative Literyscape AnalYsis Encoding' toolset. This is a custom XML schema designed to capture the qualitative linguistic aspects of literary spaces and temporalities The list of examples here will be added to as the project progresses.

Click on the titles to launch the visualisations.

Narrative Novels

Examples visualisations from narrative novels


Examples created from poetic texts

C. S. Lewis

Examples from the works of C.S. Lewis


Reading the Maps

Texts are visualized as a dynamic 3D topography a 'landscape'. Hills and peaks emerge over time, to indicate prominent spaces within the literary space as the user moves through the narrative.


Landing Page

Each passage has a 'height' value creating a 'peak' which illustrates its proximity to the readers current point in the narrative. As the reader moves the through the text, so places that are nearer become larger, and the peak increases.


Landing Page

Markers denote the specific position of Topos elements [passages of text]. Each marker represents a single passage of text. Colour is defined by its associated 'Chronotype'. The size is defined by the amount of text in the passage.


Landing Page

Specific (named) places in the text are visualized as labelled place markers. Groups of passages in the text are clustered around shared places - these are marked and labelled on the map.


Landing Page

Nodes are chrono topic points. They indicate (represent] the spatial relationships between objects. Nodes provide the 'ground' upon which the map is based. Viewing the map from above will show, more clearly the spatial network of topos nodes.


Timeline Navigation

The timeline bar shows the chronological sequence of all passages in the text. The colour of each rectangle corresponds to the chronotype of the passage. The circle indicates the users current point in the novel, and the highlighted section indicates the section of the narrative that is visible on the map. By sliding the timeline you can see move through the narrative and see the way in which siginificant spaces and places on the map emerge.


Moving the Timeline


Drag the timeline bar to move through the passages in the text. Click anywhere on the timeline to jump to a new point

Changing the Span


Drag the triangles left and right to expand or contract the narrative section ('span') revealed on the map.


Contact Details

Andrew Richardson

I work as a Senior Lecturer at Northumbria University in the Interaction Design department.
I welcome any feedback or comments you may have about these visualisations.

If you have any comments about this project please get it touch.