Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Reaction: TIMELINES: Tag clouds and the case for vernacular visualization

I found this paper to be precise enough to explain the history of tag clouds and how it evolved over a period of time. Tag clouds are quite a modern approach in the era of Web 2.0, however its evolution certainly takes us back in time.

According to the authors, tag clouds are not a very formal way of visualizing textual data, however they are still quite popular among vernacular media. Author also mentions that the Tag clouds may work in practice but not in theory. Probably, I think, with too much of content generated each day, it's an enormous task for anyone to visualize the information that is represented by such tag clouds.

I have been seeing the Tag clouds since number of years now. As a novice researcher in Visualization, for me Tag clouds represents a niche of the system. Anyone can easily point out what a blog or a website (or any other medium) is all about by glancing through the Tag Cloud

Interestingly, if we have a look at the Tag cloud of this blog, "reactions" are the most popular tag followed by "data", "graphs" which certainly tells any anonymous user about the niche of this website. I think that's the reason why they have linked vernacular visualizations to the Tag clouds.

I feel there's a lot of scope to vernacular visualizations. Tag clouds are probably the first encounter to such visualizations.