Tuesday, November 29, 2011

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

The paper is a very interesting read giving insight into the details of how/why/when/where tag clouds were used. The authors classify the primary purpose of a tag cloud is to be able to present a visual overview of collection of text to which I agree without any doubt. The authors have tried to quote examples of usage of tag clouds dated way back to 1970's. It is quoted in the paper that the tag clouds have gained significance from early 2001 when different social networking sites have started to use them and then followed by various other websites. The authors stress on the point that although aggregation of tags is a significant feature of the tag clouds it is not the sole purpose. Different examples of tag clouds and their features have been quoted in various contexts of the paper. The paper suggests that although tag clouds some times fail to provide quantifiable benefits they imply a friendly atmosphere and a point of entry to complex information. The paper suggests with proofs that it is always a better option to have the tag clouds ordered alphabetically. Also it clearly explains the real meaning of what alphabetical ordering. The authors also bring in the fact that some tag clouds are portraits of individuals rather than groups. This paper clearly explains the fact that TAG CLOUDS are derived from the vernacular techniques of data analysis and is not closely knit to the visualization techniques used and hence they work in practice but not in theory of visualizations.