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Inaugurals [ibm.com] from Jonathan Feinberg, creator of Wordle, is a series of comparative world clouds that statistically analyze the differences between past U.S. presidential inaugural speeches. Each inaugural address is compared to the five addresses nearest to it in time, the ten nearest addresses, and all addresses in U.S. history.

The size of a word corresponds to the number of times the word was used in a given address. However, the word's color depends on how statistically unlikely the word is in the normative text. In other words, a blue word was used more in the given speech than in the others it is compared to. Rose-colored words were conspicuously absent from a given speech, relative to the comparative corpus. The larger the word, in the rose cloud, the more unusual it is for the word to not have been used.

As this work is still in an experimental stage, constructive comments are welcome.

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1 COMMENT

Amazing what visualizations of frequencies can say about history. When browsing through the maps I feel close to American history :-)

Mon 02 Feb 2009 at 7:36 PM
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