Saturday, May 21, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Wordle

Tonight's Saturday night fun from Randy Seaver is to create a word cloud using Wordle. There are no restrictions on the content of the word cloud, and we can get creative in our use of Wordle's settings for the cloud's appearance. We then need to save the cloud as an image and explain how we did that.

I did this back in January, and created a surname word cloud of the non-living people in my database. Having played with this once before, I knew that my blog itself doesn't necessarily generate an interesting cloud. So I decided to do something similar to January's word cloud, only with first names of non-living people in order to see what the most common first names among my ancestors were.

To generate the file I used, I first one of Reunion's presets to generate a list of non-living people. (More details on that preset are in my earlier post.) I then marked the people on the list and exported a text file of their first and middle names. Reunion allows you to select which fields you want in text file exports, but there is no option for first names only.

I copied the text file to Wordle and to create the above cloud. The Wordle settings I used are horizontal layout, alphabetical tags, and color/font choices.

To create the image, I opened the word cloud in new window and made a screen capture (command-shift-3 on a Mac). I opened the screen capture in Preview, cropped it, and re-saved the .PNG file as a .JPG to upload to my blog.

I had originally hoped to do some more targeted files to analyze in Wordle, like descendants in a particular line to examine naming patterns, but need to poke more at Reunion to find the right settings and features.

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