Playing with Wordle

by Tonia Kendrick on February 22, 2010 in And More

I spent a little time playing with Wordle this weekend, as part of the Winter 2010 Geneablogger Games.  I’ve made surname visualizations before using Image Chef, so the process was familiar to me.  Wordle has some different features, so I made several different word clouds.

First, the standard surname visualization.  I used the top 100 surnames from my database. (Click on any image below to see a larger version.)

genealogy, Kendrick, Hemphill, Butler, Ward

I used a horizontal layout and the Heat color scheme with wild variation.

As you can see, all the words are the same size, because I simply inserted a list of surnames.  One of the neat things about word clouds is the way they make words that are used more often bigger and words that are used less smaller.  I decided to try making a cloud from my Ahnentafel report, so that the more common names would pop out.

Hemphill, Mackie, Butler, Ward, Kendrick, genealogy

It took several tries to get this right, but I like the way it turned out.  To create the final version, I generated a 10-generation Ahnentafel in Legacy, which I exported as a pdf file.  I then copied the text and pasted it into a Word file.  I wanted to get rid of the Ahnentafel numbers and dates, so I used the “find and replace” function to delete all numbers and punctuation in the file.  That left me a list of words that I copied and pasted into the Wordle.  Then I played around with the font, layout, and color scheme to get get the final version.

Another option in Wordle is to enter the url of any blog or webpage with a feed.  My home page has an excerpt of  my last ten posts and I thought it would be fun to see what I’d been writing about.

Hmm, the Winter Geneablogger Games seems to be a popular theme.

This post is part of a series related to the Winter 2010 Geneablogger Games. To see all posts in this series, click here.

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