Monday, November 21, 2011

Reaction: Tag Clouds and the Case for Vernacular Visualization

In this paper the author discusses on the most interesting and popular types of visualization which is Tag Clouds. Though it has its own limitations, but the advantages that one gain with its use and the visualization that it provides make it one of the most popular visualization technique. The paper initially starts of with the detailed explanation of the history of Tag Cloud. The visualization of text using Tag cloud is very simple and it is the backbone for its popularity and existence. The author tried to emphasize this point through out the paper.

He presented the content in an interesting way. At every point he showed the downside of the tag cloud as well explained reason why it is preferred compared to other visualization. This helps the reader open his mind in all directions and question the conclusions he had developed while going through the paper.

There is a lot of scope for research in this field as it can be noted from the content of the paper. The font size can also be made significant in the tag cloud which may help visualizing text much better. The way of representing longer words in the tag cloud can also be changed to make visualization better. It looks as if longer word have some preference in a normal tag cloud even though they actually don't in that context. The size of the text is adding that flavor to the word.

The paper also gives a good deal of information on the different ways of visualization of the tag clouds. The impact that tag clouds made on the Web 2.0 was an interesting topic to ponder on. It will be interesting to look for the efficient algorithm that is behind this. I think the should be lot of parsing involved to remove unnecessary duplicates. The grammatical distinction between the same words also adds an interesting flavor to this visualization. Overall the paper was specific to its scope but made a great deal of explanation about the visualization.