Sunday, November 20, 2011

Reaction: Tag Clouds and the Case for Vernacular Visualization

Although a short paper but I found it quite interesting and informative. The author has started with the history of tag clouds that was established before the advent of information visualization and has evolved over a period of time. The author has stated the various forms in which tag clouds was used to provide an insight to the collection of text and deduce various information from it. The Stanley Milgram’s collective mental map of Paris, according to me, produced quite an interesting result. The concept of tag clouds is being diversely used in various fields.

In the later half the author has presented the various problems in the use of tag clouds and made emphasis on the point that even with the limitations it is still a popular from of visualization. The authors have made a very interesting statement that "One might say that tag clouds work in practice, but not in theory." I agree to the author's point of view that even though it is a vernacular form of visualization i.e not a formal type of visualization, tag clouds needs to be given special attention by researchers of visualization because of the creative outburst in this type of "vernacular" visualization.