See that up there? Do you recognize it? Oh come on now, it isn’t just a ball of random words after all. Well it is in a way. That is a visualization of this blog. Word visualization is nothing new, but programs are out there that make doing things like this very easy, and they can come up with some really nifty things. The one above was generated at a very cool site called Tagxedo. I have just made a very simple circle in the example above, but there are many shapes and words you can play with. You add words manually, or you can take a blog (like I did), or other website and let the program sift through the site and do all the hard work. This one has a lot of advanced options to play with, you can even upload a picture of your own to create your own shape. You really should check it out at http://www.tagxedo.com/.
Wordle has been around for a very long time. While it isn’t as robust as Tagxedo, the site is very easy to work with and has a multitude of options to play with. Again, I took my blog out for a spin with it, and it came up with the image above. You are a bit limited though with the site. You can’t really save the work you do to your computer. The only way around that is to take a screenshot of the image and play with it using software like Photoshop to cut unwanted aspects of the screen capture. Still, the options it has are great, and you can really come up with some spectacular word images with it. You can check it out at http://www.wordle.net/
I have only scratched the surface here with a couple of examples. Word visualization sites are everywhere, and many do things in different ways. You are only limited by your own creativity on what you can create with any of these programs. I would love to see some examples of your creations. Additionally if you find a really neat word visualization site, I would urge you to share those as well. Just think of it as a new way to express the words you love to write.
- Make shaped word clouds with Tagxedo (flowingdata.com)
- Tagxedo: it’s like Wordle on steroids (allisterfrost.com)
- Getting to Love: Customer Word Clouds (customerthink.com)
- Photo Friday: wordle.net (robindejarnett.com)