Friday, December 12, 2008

A picture's worth

A post this morning on LJ Insider reminded me that for some time now I have wanted to take a closer look at Wordle: Beautiful Word Clouds. Similar in nature to tag clouds, where the image is generated to illustrate the number of times a term is tagged in a blog or other application, Wordle creates a cloud from all of the words. They say it best:

"Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends."

I created two Wordle's. For the first, I entered this blog's URL and naturally played around with font, color, layout, and generally anything they would let me do because I could.

For the second Wordle I used yesterday's post with different results. When I used the persistent URL to the post it generated a picture almost identical to the whole blog. The second time I cut and pasted the text from the post and got this:

My guess is it was generating from the whole feed as opposed to a specific portion. Either way it is an interesting visual and could be an interesting tool for classroom use under controlled circumstance as they have a gallery freely accessible and no filters.

Below is one final image, because I have another ten minutes on my lunch break and wanted to play. This is the image of Wednesday's post with a little more color variation (I used mostly black on the others so it would show on the green blog background).
I found it interesting, or maybe telling is more appropriate, the words ACRL, accepted, conference, and national are very prominent (yes, yes, it works like tag clouds and the more a word is used the bigger it displays ... but still). Over all, it kind of looks like an acorn.

No comments: