Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Reaction: Tag clouds and the case for Vernacular visualization

This paper discusses about various instances of usage of TagClouds a visualization which was born outside the "Research domain", hence it is termed as "Vernacular Visualization".

The paper discusses the history of "Tag clouds", how it was initially thought of during Soviet Constructivism. Then later on with Web 2.0, the TagClouds caught up really well with real world, where several companies like Flickr, Forbes have used "TagClouds" in visualizing their activity over several years.

Several instances are presented with clear images, on how TagClouds was used. I think TagClouds is a good visualization, but not very intuitive when considered for large sets of data. Because, there will be several instances of sample data, it would be really hard for us to compare the relative sizes. Yes, TagClouds will be able to give a very good glimpse of what are the most frequent words, but theoretically not feasible to all the situations, as pointed out in the paper.

Overall the paper is a very good read, but the scope of the paper is very limited.