Graphabulous No. 2: Textual Analysis with Wordle
August 26, 2008
Brad DeLong recently called attention to a fabulous graphic produced by Paul Kedrosky. Kedrosky took copies of Fed Chair Ben Bernanke's speeches at the Fed's 2007 and 2008 summer retreat at Jackson Hole and ran the text through Wordle. Wordle reads text and converts it into "wordclouds," which depict the most frequently used words in any selection of text --with each word's font proportional to its frequency in the selection.
Here is the wordcloud for Bernanke's 2007 speech:
Here is the wordcloud for Bernanke's 2008 speech:
As Kedrosky comments: "Anyone else get the feeling that Ben's more worried about the entire financial system than about mere mortgages?"
Wordle is very easy to use. For example, I copied all the text from NAM's front page and pasted it into Wordle. In a few seconds, Wordle spit out the following wordcloud:
Anyone else get the feeling that I've got a problem with President Bush?