The Community for Technology Leaders
RSS Icon
Issue No.06 - November/December (2009 vol.15)
pp: 1137-1144
Fernanda B. Viégas , IBM Research
Martin Wattenberg , IBM Research
Jonathan Feinberg , IBM Research
We discuss the design and usage of “Wordle,” a web-based tool for visualizing text. Wordle creates tag-cloud-like displays that give careful attention to typography, color, and composition. We describe the algorithms used to balance various aesthetic criteria and create the distinctive Wordle layouts. We then present the results of a study of Wordle usage, based both on spontaneous behaviour observed in the wild, and on a large-scale survey of Wordle users. The results suggest that Wordles have become a kind of medium of expression, and that a “participatory culture” has arisen around them.
Visualization, text, tag cloud, participatory culture, memory, educational visualization, social data analysis
Fernanda B. Viégas, Martin Wattenberg, Jonathan Feinberg, "Participatory Visualization with Wordle", IEEE Transactions on Visualization & Computer Graphics, vol.15, no. 6, pp. 1137-1144, November/December 2009, doi:10.1109/TVCG.2009.171
[1] Card S., McKinlay J., and Shneiderman B. eds, (1999). Introduction, Readings in Information Visualization: Using Vision to Think Morgan Kaufmann.
[2] Clark J., Word Hearts, from the Neoformix blog, 2008.
[3] Donath J., Karahalios K., Viégas F. 1999. Visualizing Conversation. HICSS32.
[4] Hearst M.& Rosner, D. Tag Clouds: Data Analysis Tool or Social Signaler? Inproc. Of HICSS41, 2008.
[5] Jenkins Henry, (2006). Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York University Press
[6] Pousman Z., Stasko J., and Mateas M. Casual Information Visualization: Depictions of Data in Everyday Life. IEEE Symposium on Information Visualization, 2007.
[7] Seifert C., Kump B., Kienreich W., Granitzer G., and Granitzer M., 2008. On the Beauty and Usability of Tag Cloud, 12th Int'l Conf on Information Visualization.
[8] Rivadeneira A. W., Gruen D. M., Muller M J., Millen D. R. Getting our heads in the clouds: toward evaluation studies of tagclouds. Proc. Of CHI2006.
[9] TagCrowd,
[10] Tag Cloud Generator,
[11] Viégas F.B.., Boyd D., Nguyen D., Potter J.& Donath, J. Digital, Artifacts for Remembering and Storytelling: PostHistory and Social Network Fragments. In Proc. of HICSS37, 2004.
[12] Viégas F.B. Wattenberg, M., van Ham, F., Kriss, J., & McKeon, M. Many Eyes: A Sitefor Visualization atInternetScale. Proc. of IEEE InfoVis 2007.
[13] Viégas F.B., Wattenberg M., Tag Clouds and the Case for Vernacular Visualization, ACM Interactions, XV.4 July/August, 2008
[14] Wattenberg M. Baby Names, Visualization, and Social Data Analysis. Proc. of InfoVis 2005.
[15] Whittaker S., Jones Q., Nardi B., Creech M., Terveen L., Isaacs E., Hainsworth J. Contact Map: Organizing communication in a social desktop. ACM Trans. Comput.Hum. Interact., Vol. 11, No. 4. (December 2004), pp. 445471.
5 ms
(Ver 2.0)

Marketing Automation Platform Marketing Automation Tool