A short presentation on Tag Clouds. By Tom Worthington.
A tag cloud (or weighted list in visual design) can be used as a visual depiction of content tags used on a website. Often, more frequently used tags are depicted in a larger font or otherwise emphasized, while the displayed order is generally alphabetical. Thus both finding a tag by alphabet and by popularity is possible. Selecting a single tag within a tag cloud will generally lead to a collection of items that are associated with that tag. ...
The first use of tag clouds was on the photo sharing website Flickr ...
From Tag cloud, Wikipedia, 22:03, 16 May 2007
Tag Clouds are a useful way to give the web user an index to relatively unstructured information. In effect, the tag cloud is the web equivalent to an index in the back of a book. They are also useful to get an idea of what topics, words and phrases are important to a group of people, when writing new web content.
Flickr Most popular tags
06 africa amsterdam animals april architecture art asia australia baby barcelona beach berlin birthday black blackandwhite blue boston bw california cameraphone camping canada canon car cat cats chicago china christmas church city clouds color concert d50 day dc de dog england europe fall family festival film florida flower flowers food france friends fun garden geotagged germany girl graffiti green halloween hawaii hiking holiday home honeymoon hongkong house india ireland island italy japan july kids la lake landscape light live london ...
From Popular Tags on Flickr Photo Sharing, Flickr, 2007
The Flickr tag clouds shows the most popular topics for photographs.
Clustering Tags Manually
africa amsterdam asia australia barcelona berlin boston california canada chicago china city dc de england europe florida france germany hawaii hongkong india ireland island italy japan ...
animals architecture art baby beach birthday camping car cat cats christmas church concert dog family festival film flower flowers food friends fun garden geotagged ...
The words from a tag cloud can be manually grouped into categories. These can then be used for structuring and describing new web pages.
Flickr clusters are automated clusters of tags:
Can be problems:
... I found using clusters in searches to be quite useful but at times also very counter productive, giving nonsense results. ... I live on the Central Coast in NSW, Australia and that's where I take most of my photos. ... "Central Coast", "NSW", "Australia" ... "Terrigal", "Woy Woy", "Gosford", "Skillion", ...
since there is also Central Coast in California, US, one would expect that in search for "Central Coast" result page would present separate clusters for both versions of "Central Coast" ...
however I'm completely lost at why would half of my pictures clearly tagged and geotagged as "NSW" "Australia" (and often tagged by a unique location name such as "Terrigal" which is only to be found in Australia) be categorized under "California" when I obviously don't use "California" tag ? ...
From URL: clusters - a bug ?, Pete, 17 October 2006
Automated categorization using tags, or other technologies, can cause misidentification so the author needs to keep checking. Also there may need to explain to web readers that there are same words used for different things and places in different parts of the world (and different words used for the same things).
Tag Clouds from Feeds
Tag clouds by Zoom Clouds from:
Google News feed for "Lake Macquarie":
2007 (3) australia (3) american (1) advertiser (7) achieved (12) Boys (7) brakes (14) campbelltown (5) coach (13) couple (6) dwight (3) eagles (11) elite (11) fixture (2) final (2) first (5) Guardian (6) hours (12) kyle (13) macquarie (4) mercury (2) maitland (12) national (3) nbsp (5) nationals (11) news (13) Next (9) park (11) quot (3) riot (6) Sean (4) south (9) soars (5) sydney (4) state (11) sigh (11) training (1) victory (13) where (3) wales (13) young (11)
From Lake Macquarie Council News" RSS Feed:
australia (10) awareness (10) aims (13) author visit (10) bank account (9) boyce (6) budget (8) city website (5) charlestown (4) chemicals (4) convict (6) daring (10) draft management plan (12) dp (2) direct debit (2) disability (3) development planning (1) exhibition (2) escapes (13) free household (8) free exhibition (10) human struggle (2) household chemical (1) heartbreak (2) information services (6) integrated transport (7) information professionals (2) installment (5) information week (10) iranian girl (3) improved new (3) lake macquarie city (13) library promotions (11) lake macquarie city council (4) librarian (8) lake macquarie city library (9) libraries (5) memoir (4) new development (4) origins (4) planning service (10) public hearing (11) rediscover (6) residents (11) sorrow (3) stakeholders (12) search engine (15) transport centre (10) website www (7) website features (15)
Shown is a tag cloud generated from news items about "Lake Macquarie". Here is how they look now:
From the Google News:
From Lake Macquarie Council News" RSS Feed:
This document is available at: http://www.tomw.net.au/technology/it/tagclouds.shtml
Slides for these notes are also available.
I will be speaking at the 2007 China Media Conference, 5 July 2007 in Brisbane (Australia) on web design for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The web site for the conference features a poster (excerpt shown) of a Chinese Red Guard, but instead of a "Little Red Book", they are holding a PDA. This illustrates the impact the web has had on society. XML and e-publishing are likely to have as much impact.
Copyright © 18 May 2007 Tom Worthington
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.