07 October 2009

Visualizing Hubble

I was just introduced today to an intriguing website called Many Eyes, run by IBM. You can check it out at http://manyeyes.alphaworks.ibm.com/manyeyes. Or just type "many eyes" into a search engine to get there.

One of the site's many features is giving you the ability to turn text into an image. I downloaded the preface to my latest book The Day We Found the Universe, for example, and chose to display it as a "wordle," which shows how frequently words appear in your text by the size of each word. You can even tweak these word "clouds" with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. Here's how mine came out:

It's fascinating how well the central themes of my book just pop out, as if by magic. Edwin Hubble would certainly have liked the outcome.

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