Word Clouds from Community Input

With the help of a good intern, we took the words and ideas from the papers and put them in a spreadsheet. We took that data and used Wordle, a web based tool for generating word clouds, to create this image. Word clouds are used to  quickly indicate the most commonly used words  in a block of text – the bigger the word, the more frequently it was used. 

Each table has their own word cloud (the smaller ones).  The 200 most frequently recorded words from all tables are in the larger cloud in the center.

There are many ways to think about words, ideas, and data. This is just one – what do you think?

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3 thoughts on “Word Clouds from Community Input

  1. I love the idea of word clouds being used to source feedback from the community/a group of people! I think this is one of their best usecases. That said, I also agree with Sarah’s points as it’s important to ensure people who said the same thing actually meant the same thing, otherwise the results can be misleading. If anyone’s interested here’s another word cloud resource which allows a person’s friends to describe them and then creates a word cloud from the results. I think it’s a great example of using community feedback in a useful way! Check out:


  2. Pingback: October 27: Theme Groups Meeting 1: What a Night! |

  3. Sarah McIntee says:

    Word clouds are interesting, but we don’t know if people are describing the way they think it is, or the way they would like it to be (but it isn’t now). You can also generate a word cloud using positive words in a negative way. Take the word “small” does that mean I like it small, I wish it were small, or I wish it weren’t so small. See my point?

    People will use the language that they have been primed with, using the language that they have heard the most, which is not necessarily the best language to use in a vision statement.

    The connotations for the word, “diversity,” is mixed and not necessarily positive. It could mean that the townspeople are diverging into different groups, lack cohesion and lack unity. We don’t want to divide, which is why I like the words, “inclusive,” and, “variety,” instead.

    “Vibrant,” would work well to describe rich urban living prospects, but it won’t work to describe the commercial as vibrant as one might have a Las Vegas image.

    Words for thought,

    Sarah McIntee

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