Tag cloud

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  • “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”(Wikipedia, retrieved 13:13, 14 September 2006 (MEST))

Here is a practical explanation from Communicopia (retrieved 13:13, 14 September 2006 (MEST) and slightly shortened):

A tag cloud shows you all the tags we are using on this site. Tags are a new style of search data that describe what each page or story on the site is about. The tag cloud is therefore a visual map of the content on a site. Tags that are large and bold are written about a lot, tags that are smaller have only been written about a few times.

Tags are a new form of information design pioneered by the most successful online communities. They offer another way to navigate content on a site, showing patterns, the scope of content available, and how popular different keywords are.

Some sites allow you to tag content with your own words, helping you organize and remember content that is relevant to you. And by sharing your tags with others, an evolutionary "wisdom of crowds" map is created, helping you and others find valuable signals within all the noise.

Below is a tagcloud for this wiki, with maintenance categories filtered out

3D  3D printing  3d  AMP  ActionScript Code Snippets  ActionScript programming projects  ActionScript tutorials  Actionscript 3  Adaptive learning  Affect and motivation  Affordances  Affordances and constraints of learning technologies  Analytics  Annotation  Art  Artificial intelligence  Artificial intelligence and education  Assets  Authoring tools  BPMN  Bibliography  Blended Learning  Blurp  Books  Browser extensions  COAP-3000  COAP 2100  COAP 2100 Archive  COAP 2170  COAP 3110  COAP 3120  COAP 3150  CS1 errors: dates  CS6 icons  CS6 pointers  CSCW  CSS  Cartography  Category name  Certificate of Open Studies  Citizen science  Citizen science infrastructure  Citizen science project  Citizen science software  Classroom technologies  Cloud computing  Cognitive tools  Collaborative learning  Community  Community-oriented instructional design models  Computational making  Computer-mediated communication  Computer games  Computer literacy  Computerized embroidery  Content management  Contents  Courses and workshops  Culture  Cutting plotter  Data mining and learning analytics tools  Databases  Demo Mons  Design and research methods  Design methodologies  Digital learning in emergencies  Digital libraries  Digital storytelling  Digital video  Disambiguation  Document standards  Documentation  E-book  E-learning tools  E-science  E-textile  Education and instruction  Educational design tools  Educational games  Educational hardware  Educational modeling languages  Educational robotics  Educational software  Educational technologies  Educational technology - the field  Educational theories  Edutech families  Edutech institutions  Edutechwiki documentation  Embroidery format  Emoji  Ergonomics and human-computer interaction  Esoteric templates  Evaluation methods and grids  Example cases  Experiential learning and virtual worlds  Fab lab  Fabbster 3D printer  Felix 3D printer  Flash  Flash, Flex and ActionScript  Flash CS3 tutorials  Flash tutorials  Flex  Flex tutorials  Fonts  Free online encyclopedias  Free text  GraphViz  GraphViz dot  HTML  Hardware  Help  Help tools  Hotfix stone design  Hypertext  ICT in society  INRP  Identity and authentication  Imported vocabulary  InkStitch  Inkscape  Innovation and change  Installation tips  Instructional design methods  Instructional design models  Instructional theories  Integrated learning environments  Interaction design, user experience and usability  JavaScript  Javascript  Knowledge and idea management  Knowledge representation  LEGO  Laser cutting  Learner assessment and evaluation  Learning approaches and technology trends  Learning communities  Learning design  Learning management systems  Learning objects  Learning theories  Links  Literacy  Literary programming  Maintenance  MakeCode  Mathematics  MediaWiki extension  Mediawiki documentation  Metacognition and learning strategies  Microworlds  Mobile computing  Multimedia  Music  Networking technologies  News items  OWL Reasoner  Open education  Organization and management  Overviews  PHP  Pages using ISBN magic links  Pages using RFC magic links  Pages using deprecated source tags  Pages using duplicate arguments in template calls  Pages with RSS feeds  Pages with a map rendered by the Maps extension  Pages with broken file links  Pages with math errors  Pages with reference errors  Pages with script errors  Pages with syntax highlighting errors  Pedagogic strategies  Pedagogical scenarios  Peer-net  Personal learning environments  Physicalization  Pictographic languages  Portalware  Position Papers  Position paper  Presentation software  Privacy  Program, course and teacher evaluation  Programming  Programming Environment  Project-oriented instructional design models  Project management and planning  Property rights and copyright  Psychological theories  Psychology and learning  Questionnaires  RDFS Reasoner  RapMan  Real-time communication  Reasoner  Research methodologies  Research methodology tutorials  Rich internet applications  Rubrics  Rule Reasoner  STL model  SVG  Screenshots  Semantic Form demo  Semantic Forms URL demo  Semantic Mediawiki  Server administration  Simulation environments  Social computing  Socio-political and organization  Software information  Special contents  Standards  Stitch Era tutorials  Subject areas  Syllabus page  Synonyms  Taxonomies  Teacher development  Teacher tools  Technologies  Technology education  Templates  Testing  Toronto school  Triple Store  Trust  Turtlestitch  Tutorials  UML  Uncategorized  Under construction  Virtual environments  Virtual reality  Visual programming language  Visualization  Web-based training  Web authoring  Web standards  Web technologies  Web technology tutorials  Wikilog manual  Wikimedia  Wikis  Workflow  Writing  X3D tutorials  XML 

See tagging (or folksomy) for a global discussion of tagging as opposed to use metadata taxonomies à la Dublin Core.

Methodes and application areas

According to the Wikipedia article [1], there are to methods for producting a tag cloud:

  1. The number of times that tag has been applied to a single item. Therefore, a tag becomes bigger when more people decide to apply it to a single item.
  2. The number of items that have been given that tag. Therefore, more popular tags become bigger.

At the time of writing this, there is still a lot of discussion on how to optimize computing of tag clouds and visualization methods. See Hassan-Monteroa and Herrero-Solan (2006) for discussion and a proposal.

Tag clouds are popular in:

See social software


Tag/word cloud software

Examples of webservices with tag clouds

Most of the better blog engines allow (optionally) to generate and display a tag cloud.

Examples of tag clouds from the world of education


  • Brooks, C. H. and Montanez, N. 2006. Improved annotation of the blogosphere via autotagging and hierarchical clustering. In Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on World Wide Web (Edinburgh, Scotland, May 23 - 26, 2006). WWW '06. ACM Press, New York, NY, 625-632. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1135777.1135869. Abstract/HTML/PDF
  • Hassan, Yusef and Monteroa Víctor Herrero-Solana (2006), Improving Tag-Clouds as Visual Information Retrieval Interfaces, International Conference on Multidisciplinary Information Sciences and Technologies, InSciT2006. Mérida, Spain. October 25-28, 2006. PDF Preprint
  • Heymann, P., Garcia-Molina, H. (2007). Collaborative creation of communal hierarchical taxonomies in social tagging systems. InfoLab Technical Report, Computer Science Department, Stanford University Abstract/PDF/PS/Text
  • Hsieh, W.T., Lai, W.S., Chou S.C.T.: A collaborative tagging system for learning resources sharing. In IV International Conference on Multimedia and Information and Communication Technologies in Education (m-ICTE2006), Seville, Spain (2006) 1364-1368