Many Eyes Adds Wordle to its Extensive Visualization Toolbox

Posted to Apps, Data Art  |  Nathan Yau

I’m sure you’ve seen Wordle by now, which puts an artistic spin on the traditional tag cloud. An application by Jonathan Feinberg, Wordle lets you put any text or RSS/atom feed in as input and get a cloud of words sized by frequency and arranged every which way. Above is a Wordle cloud of the current FlowingData feed.

Many Eyes recently added Feinberg’s visualization to their slew of other visualization tools.

Wordle marks a departure from the more analytical visualizations on Many Eyes. Why bring a self-described “toy” to a site for social data analysis? People have reported finding value beyond entertainment in creating these word clouds. Teachers have used Wordles in classrooms as conversation catalysts; others have created them to express their identities, and scholars have used them to visualize the output of statistical explorations of texts.

No doubt Many Eyes, with Martin Wattenberg and Fernanda Viégas (who know a thing or two about design) at the helm, recognizes that data visualization isn’t always about analytics and exactness. Sometimes visualization is just about getting people to think.

6 Comments

Favorites

Best Data Visualization Projects of 2016

Here are my favorites for the year.

Shifting Incomes for American Jobs

For various occupations, the difference between the person who makes the most and the one who makes the least can be significant.

Interactive: When Do Americans Leave For Work?

We don’t all start our work days at the same time, despite what morning rush hour might have you think.

Where Bars Outnumber Grocery Stores

A closer look at the age old question of where there are more bars than grocery stores, and vice versa.