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st: RE: Tag clouds in Stata?


From   "Nick Cox" <n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk>
To   <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   st: RE: Tag clouds in Stata?
Date   Fri, 29 May 2009 11:44:49 +0100

A tag cloud I take to be, in Stata terms, a scatter plot with
differently represented text labels. (I take it no-one is imagining
making the graph clickable.)

The answer to "can" is evidently, Yes, but a bit awkwardly. 

I'm more interested in "should", i.e. how far is this a good idea? 

On that I'd echo Maarten's main comments. 

In addition, Example 1 doesn't sound like something for which a tag
cloud  is either a direct or an efficient way of representing
information. You could just look at a table as created by e.g.
-nmissing- (SJ) or code it up as a bar chart. 

Similarly, Example 2 sounds a gimmicky alternative to some standard bar
chart or an ordered list. 

Nick 
n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk 

Gawrich Stefan

many websites use tag clouds
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tag_cloud#Data_clouds) for different
purposes
nowadays. I think tag clouds could also be a useful tool for basic
exploratory analysis in Stata. 

Example 1 : Tag cloud of variable names (in alphabetical order or in
order
of the dataset): Fontsize represents e.g. the proportion of missing
values. 
Example 2 : Tag clouds of values/value labels of a categorical var (with
many strata like postcodes in a region). Fontsize represents an
aggregated
score in each stratum.  

They can help to spot errors or extreme data distributions in variables
or
subgroups or help to detect patterns.
There are a lot of methodological issues and statistical options for
visualisation of data in tag clouds.

But the basic question is: Can it be done in Stata?
Is there any routine to produce text in that way (like graph 3 or 4 in
the
Wikipedia article)?

Best wishes

Stefan











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