Posted by: Dave Richeson | October 8, 2008

Create your own word clouds

This post is not really math-related.  I discovered a cool website called Wordle, which you can use to generate custom word clouds. Here’s how Wordle describes itself.

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.

As an experiment, I used Wordle to create a word cloud of all the recent posts on my blog.

It turns out that Wordle can create word clouds quickly, even from large files. For example, I created a word cloud from all of the text in my book, Euler’s Gem (over 300 pages). The word cloud is below. (Who needs Cliff’s Notes?)

If you like Wordle, you may want to visit Many Eyes, a website created by IBM’s Collaborative User Experience research group. It gives other interesting ways of visualizing data.

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