text analysis

Smarter Wordclouds

Some time ago, I saw a presentation by Wouter van Atteveldt who showed that wordclouds aren’t necessarily stupid. I was amazed since wordclouds were one of the first things I ever did in R and they are still often shown in introductions to text analysis. But the way they are mostly done is, in fact, not very informative. Because the position of the individual words in the cloud do not mean anything, the only information communicated is through the font size and sometimes font colour of the words.