The Noisy Channel


Periodic Table of Visualization Methods

September 26th, 2008 · 4 Comments · General

An oldie but goodie that one of my colleagues at Endeca just reminded me of is the Periodic Table of Visualization Methods by Ralph Lengler and Martin Eppler at

Click through the picture to the real page, which shows you an example each visualization when you hover over it in the table.

Interestingly, tag clouds don’t show up in the table? Is this because the authors hate them, or that tag clouds aren’t sufficiently graphical to qualify as a visualization? I know many people who despise tag clouds–and I used to be one of them. But I think they have their place, and I’ll return to the subject some time soon.

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Thomas // Sep 26, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Tag clouds can be very graphical and help to visualize anything

  • 2 Mark Watkins // Sep 26, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    A related site that I love – which shows how beautiful (dare I say artistic) information visualization can be:

  • 3 Whit // Sep 26, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    I’m boiling up a screed on tag clouds. I’ll welcome all comers.

  • 4 Daniel Tunkelang // Sep 26, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    Mark, thanks for the link. And of course there’s IBM’s Many Eyes site:

    Whit, looking forward to that screed. Meanwhile, I’ll start digging up the few redeeming examples of tag clouds that I’ve encountered in my virtual travels.

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