House Cleaning and Publicity

It has been a while since we updated the blog so we thought we'd give everyone a quick update on what has been happening on recently.

Firstly, we have cleaned up the blog commenting system. We have added a spam filter and turned out trackbacks. The lesson here is don't publish a blog without appropriate spam filtering on comments. If you do, you will get absolutely inundated with spam. Soon we will also add a captcha to the commenting system to stop our databases filling up.

Next, we made some incremental improvements to the site ...

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Beyond Word Clouds - Part 2

If you haven't already, why not check out the first article in this series. It covers the Text Is Beautiful Concept Cloud, whereas this piece is concerned with the Concept Web.

Below is a Concept Cloud and Concept Web for reviews of the Sydney Opera House on TripAdvisor.

At first glance, the Concept Web might appear more complicated than the Concept Cloud, however, we believe that it is actually easier to interpret after becoming familiar with it. Let's take a closer look...

What is similar to the Cloud?

  • Themes - Like the Concept Cloud, the Concept Web represents distinct ...

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Launch Day - A great start

As you know we started the public push of Text Is Beautiful yesterday and besides a few growing pains we were happy with how things went. Overall, we had about 200 visitors to the site and discovered a few bugs we were quick to remedy. We were happy with how it went and we think it is a great platform to build from.

Besides the actual mechanics of the launch, we also saw a couple of pieces of encouraging feedback which is always good. The first came from Jonathan Feinberg, the inventor of Wordle, via a blog post. ...

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Growing Pains

Whilst Text Is Beautiful has been online for a couple of weeks already, it is only over the last couple of days that we have started openly sharing it with the public. Since we had no real idea about how many users to expect, you could say this was an attempt to ramp things up gently. Already though, we have encountered some teething issues - some particular Wikipedia pages not processing to completion and problems with our load balancing that has been leading to request timeouts in periods transitioning to and from heavy load.

* We don't endorse hamster-powered hardware

We ...

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A Deeper Look at the Correlation Wheel

It's time to take a deeper look at the Correlation Wheel. We are excited about the correlation wheel. One of the most important statistics used to understand text is co-occurence. Knowing what things co-occur together often can be quite a useful tool when trying to understand not just text, but a whole range of other data as well.

Having said that, there is also a danger that co-occurence can make things even harder to understand. To see why, we need to understand the various ways we can calculate co-occurence.

When we say concept X co-occurs with concept Y 10 ...

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Beyond Word Clouds - Part 1

As we prepare to herald in the new year, let us take a moment to consider the recent, rapid popularisation of data visualisations on the web. Whether you attribute this to some kind of biological adaptation to visual processing, short attention spans, another web fad, or any other multitude of reasons, one thing seems to be clear - that there is a great deal of the visualisation terrain yet to be explored.

From quantitative to qualitative; simple charts to complex, interactive layouts; few tools seem to have garnered the levels of fame (or notoriety, depending on who you talk to), as ...

Continue reading is Alive!

If you are reading this then you have probably already figured out has been launched and is ready to create beautiful visualisations from your text. This website has existed as an idea for approximately 24 months but it wasn't until the end of 2012 when the work was put in to make this site a reality.

So what is I hear you ask? It's a place you can come with text in your virtual hand (don't worry if you don't have any, you can visualise Wikipedia articles too) and create some awesome ...

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