Saturday, August 30, 2008

Visual Representations

There is a website that allows one to make "visual clouds" of verbal information
--> To see where you all were re material practices of composition, I took what you had written--and about half of you have posted so far--and pasted it into wordle. Not surprisingly, the topic at hand (no pun intended ;) is writing, so it gets a lot of visual play in both representations. But you can see that other words are important, too--like author; paper; technology; computer; literacy--and in the second image, can.

Of course, what you see in a wordle is also what you create: the layout, font, and color all matter, as the differences in the two images demonstrate.

Here is the logic for the size of different words, from the wordle site itself:
"Wordle uses the number of times a word appears in a text to determine its relative size. . . . The size of a word in the visualization is proportional to the number of times the word appears in the input text. So, for example, if you type apple banana banana grape grape grape into the create page's text field, you'll see that banana's font size is twice apple's, and grape's font size is 3/2 that of banana's."

From me: Apart from amusement, is there any value in these multiple representations? What do we learn from them, and how might they be used in different contexts?
I'm posting a bit more about some of this on another blog, here-->
Free feel to take a look ;)

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