Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Reaction: Tag Clouds and the Case for Vernacular Visualization

This paper explains the information visualization technique of Tag-Clouds. The authors mention how important tag clouds are and how they have transformed the way of analyzing textual information. The authors give a brief history of tag clouds - of how 'font size' was used as a property of providing or portraying information about the word. As time progressed the tag clouds became more and more famous and came into use in magazines and newspapers.

The authors then focuses on the importance of tag clouds as an information medium. In this discussion, the author mentions of the theoretical faults in the said information visualization. The authors mention that the font sizes that are much closer to each other are extremely difficult to compare. This is very true in practical sense. People cannot make out the difference between font size of '12' and '13'. Also, another problem is the problem of having longer words getting a-lot of emphasis over shorter words in the tag cloud. 

Even with these problems in the tag cloud visualization, authors say that it is still being used in a lot of places due to its advantages in the social media and its property of being personally appealing. Furthermore, tag clouds are the best tool to a get a gist of a huge text document or data matter. This makes tag clouds a powerful tool. This paper is a great information medium on introduction to the power of tag clouds.