Purple politicial speech

Oct 23, 2012

I enjoy looking at the New York Times' summation of National Convention speeches via visualization. (link)

It's a disguised word cloud combined with a bubble chart with a little bar chart thrown in for good measure.

The size of the bubble is the total number of mentions of particular words or phrases. So the bubbles tell us the importance of specific concepts in aggregate of two parties.

It's the split within each bubble that represents the relative emphasis by party. Helpfully, the bubbles are sorted from left to right with the most Democratic words on the left. This splitting uses a bar chart paradigm. The diameter of the bubble is being partitioned, not the areas of the segments.

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I wanted to see this as a straight-out word cloud. In the following, I use the red-blue-purple color gradient to indicate the Republican-Democratic bias, and the size of the words to indicate the number of mentions.

This word cloud is created using the Wordle tool, advanced options. My colleague John helped me pick the colors. (By the way, I don't like the insertion of small words within large letters, like what happened here inside the O in Obama.)

Also, I'd line the colors up so that the red words are on one side, blue on the other and purple in the middle. I'd need a different tool to be able to exercise this type of control.

Comments

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waitaminute, are those circles being sliced according to the percentage of diameter? It looks to me as if e.g. a 20-40 split is being represented by a chord cut one-third of the way in. But that's a misleading way of representing 20-40!

The circle segments are split by area, not by diameter; this is so the area is proportional to the associated value. An explanation of the algorithm is here: http://bl.ocks.org/3422480

Why make them circles?

For some reason the most frequently used word after "Jobs", namely "Israel", doesn't even appear here as far as I can see. Perhaps the owner of this blog is a Jew?

Someone at the New York Times, rather. Sorry, should have read the post a bit more carefully. No wonder "Israel" was removed/concealed, then.

bwa c'mon Kaiser. That font is horrific.

I'm not even totally convinced that a word cloud ever really works.

Erik, when I typed in the word "Israel," it appears, but a frequency close to the word, "Jobs." I'm wondering of what importance you think the author's religion and the visualizations publisher is to the absence of this word.

Ugh, do circle sizes every work?

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