Tuesday, November 29, 2011

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

This was an interesting piece about the origin and usefulness of tag clouds. The article seems to mainly talk about the rise of tag clouds, and almost seems more promotional than purl informational. The evidence presented for their effectiveness as visualizations seems more circumstantial, but it's convincing enough. It touts them as a visualization that allows perspective on text. It offers a simple overview of text content from many different sources: blogs, political speeches, psychological experiments, and fiction writing apparently. The designation of "unstructured text," as an area for potential new visualization research is interesting, although the authors mention that since people want to use them of analysis, maybe researches should "rethink the purpose and goals of their creations." I thought easing analysis was already a large part of information visualization.