Searchable Tagxedo Wordcloud

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A while ago Phil Bradley created a Tagxedo cloud image for the ‘Voices For The Library’ site. The team thought it was a fun thing to do and I wondered if we could build on this, to make it something more than just a static image. I’ve used Tagxedo before – creating a short animated film , a tribute to Middlemash and a way of generating word clouds automatically from blog posts.

Tagxedo is built on Microsoft Silverlight, which is similar to Flash. The great thing about Tagxedo is that, not only does it allow you to create a Wordcloud as an image, but it also allows you to index the words in the wordcloud and make the whole image searchable. Not many people seem to have cottoned onto this fact and I think it’s a really underused feature. It makes browseable wordclouds much more interesting if you’re actually clicking around a picture to perform the search. Part of the reason why it’s not been used much might be that, to create a clickable Tagxedo, you originally had to have Silverlight installed. This changed a while back when Hardy Leung, creator of Tagxedo, added a html version of this. It’s not as dynamic as the Silverlight version (ie the words don’t pop up as you hover over them), but it still works really well. With this in mind I’ve created a clickable Tagxedo for the Voices For The Library website here.

I created it in the shape of a heart, in keeping with my the ‘We love public libraries’ theme. 🙂 It’s not hosted on the ‘Voices For The Library’ site, but links through to it. Please give it a go and let me know what you think.

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