Take a document, count the occurrence of words, visualise the results… (click on the images, requires Java).

University of Lincoln Teaching & Learning Strategic Plan 2007-2012

University of Lincoln Strategic Plan 2007-2012

Creating a ‘wordcloud’ or ‘tagcloud’, from a Strategic Plan is one thing, but take the same technology and enter a research paper:

The Semantic Web Revisited

The English Standard Version of the Bible

Great Expectations (Dickens)

US Presidential Speeches

BBC News Archive

(do click on the links above,they’re great pieces of work)

Queen’s Speech 2007

Queen’s Speech 1997

I can see opportunities for browsing and comparing documents, visually picking out themes which emerge over time in documents like the Presidential or Queen’s Speeches. I can quickly identify the main subject areas and perhaps even discover variants in meaning to an otherwise ordinary text. This would be especially useful if combined with Apple’s Coverflow viewer, sucking in text and allowing us to browse through filesystems of documents, quickly highlighting the content of each file…

Just a matter of time.