Posts Tagged ‘word cloud’

Wordalizer tag cloud script for InDesign | A Tribute to Wordle (Indiscripts)

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

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[Editor's note: Looks like my earlier post on Wordle helped Marc Atret implement tag clouds (word clouds) in InDesign.]

Republished from Indiscripts.

Wordalizer is a word cloud builder for InDesign CS4. Try now the beta version of this experimental script —inpired by the magnificent Wordle web tool created by Jonathan Feinberg.

I began to work on Wordalizer for InDesign in September 2008! Jonathan Feinberg had just launched its brilliant Wordle Java applet and I was highly impressed by the typographical perfection that Wordle could reach in word clouding. I was naively dreaming to operate the same way from the InDesign DOM! Too much confident in my scripting abilities, I still hadn’t realized how powerful the Feinberg’s core algorithm was, until I found this post on “Kelso’s Corner” blog. Feinberg says: “It’s not quite ‘simple bounding box,’ which wouldn’t permit words inside words, or nestling up to ascenders and descenders. It’s full glyph intersection testing, but with a sprinkle of CS applied to make it work at interactive speeds.”

Yes indeed! The hardest part of the whole challenge is in speeding up hit-tests, and you can’t imagine what this Java performance problem looks like when translated into the InDesign JS context! After remaining at a standstill for a long time, I decided to start my script from the beginning again.

Continue reading at Indiscripts . . .

In Mottos We Trust? United Statements of America (StrangeMaps)

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

[Editor's note: Continuing series of word tag clouds as maps.]

Republished from StrangeMaps.
Orig published there Jan. 17, 2009.

The US goes by the motto In God We Trust (but only since 1956, when it replaced the ‘unofficial’ motto, E pluribus unum). A motto (from the Italian word for pledge, plural mottos or mottoes) describes a quality or intention that a group of people aim to live up to – a mission statement of sorts. As such, America’s newer motto has invited more controversy than the older one, since it seems to run counter to the principle of separation of church and state. Its introduction did seem to make sense at the time, what with the Cold War against those godless communists.

As demonstrated on this map, the 50 states making up the US each have their own motto too. The two-and-a-half score state mottos display a wide variety, of quotations, languages and underlying messages. English is the favourite language, but not even by half: only 24 state mottos are originally in English; Latin, once the language for all solemn occacions (and not just exorcisms), accounts for 20. Two mottos are in native languages, and French, Spanish, Italian and Greek account for one each. The system of checks and balances seems to work for mottos too: if the national motto is overtly religious, then only six of the state ones refer to God, either directly or obliquely. Most deal with secular rights, and the readiness to defend them. The Bible is tied with Cicero as the source for the most mottos (three), while classical literature has proven a particularly fertile breeding ground for inspirational quotes (mottos originate with Lucretius, Aesop, Virgil, Brutus and Archimedes).

Continue reading at StrangeMaps . . .

The Words They Used (NY Times)

Monday, September 29th, 2008

[Editor's note: Continuing my blogging catch-up, this graphic from the NY Times on Sept. 4th integrates graduated circles with tag clouds (word clouds) that also include frequency numbers. This approach takes up more space, but I think makes it more readable. Below the main "cloud" is a breakdown by speaker with columns with tags and another set of mini graduated circles in rows. Important to note: this is rate per 25,000 words spoken, not the actual frequencies.

Seeing this graphic again and thinking of the first Presidential debate between Obama and McCain last week, I am reminded that these tag clouds are only appropriate when the content sample is large / long enough to allow themes to manifest and that categories can be just as appropriate as individual key words.]

The words that speakers used at the two political conventions show the themes that the parties have highlighted. Republican speakers have talked about reform and character far more frequently than the Democrats. And Republicans were more likely to talk about businesses and taxes, while Democrats were more likely to mention jobs or the economy.

View original at full size at nytimes.com . . .

Graphic by MATTHEW ERICSON/The New York Times.