TagClouds vs. TreeMaps

Lately in blogs and other text heavy sites the TagCloud has become a popular way to represent a taxonomy or now more specifically what is called a folksonomy of keywords that spans over a greater number of published posts. The idea is that someone can immediately recognize the words that appear most often and navigate to the information they feel is most important by way of number of mentions. Regardless of the merits or lack thereof in judging information importance by this method what strikes me is the outright flawed design of the tag cloud to represent an orders of magnitude comparison between terms. How can one really judge by font size alone where a term really belongs in the folksonomy based on the order of magnitude of its mention? I feel a better visualization tool for comparison of order of magnitude of terms can be found in the TreeMap which could place each term within a plotted box based on quantitative measure.


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