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Featured, Government - Written by on Tuesday, January 20, 2009 17:59 - 9 Comments

Naumi Haque
Obama’s inaugural Wordle

With the world caught up in Obama mania today, I thought it only appropriate to do an inauguration-related post. You might say, I too had a “Barack attack.” ; )

The proclamations of “history in the making” and invocations of former Presidents got me thinking about a neat way to visually compare Obama’s inauguration address to those past. Some people may remember my visual analysis of the eight years of Bush; this is a bit different. Using IBM’s ManyEyes social media visualization tool, I’ve compiled a Wordle (stylized tag cloud) comparison of Obama’s address to those of Presidents to whom he is often compared. Note particular similarities to JFK and FDR (more visualizations after the jump).



9 Comments

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DanR
Jan 20, 2009 23:10

Cool comparison. Is their also a comparison of Rick Warren’s into to past inaugural ‘prayers?’ I wonder if and how they change with successive presidents.

DanR
Jan 20, 2009 23:11

sorry…correction: Rick Warren INTRO not INTO

André Luce
Jan 21, 2009 2:48

Great! Thanks for the work!

Matthew Dreitlein
Jan 21, 2009 9:59

Extremely interesting. This is a powerful example of how looking at something another way can make things readily aparant. Thank you for this post, I will be forwarding it to everyone I know.

Naumi Haque
Jan 21, 2009 14:16

Matthew, Andre, thanks for the comments.

Dan, you could definitely build a comparison for the Rick Warren intro as well. The cool thing about ManyEyes is that anyone can upload a data set and visualize it. So, all you would have to do is find his transcript, load it to ManyEyes, and then select from the many visualization options they provide. Then you can go in and adjust your visualization to meet your needs. You can also use anyone else’s data set, which is what I did, since people had already uploaded past presidential addresses
(http://manyeyes.alphaworks.ibm.com/manyeyes/datasets?q=inauguration). That being said, I did a quick search – currently no data set for “Rick Warren.”

Naumi Haque
Feb 25, 2009 14:08

Here’s another cool visualization tool for presidential speeches, as reported on the Freakanomics blog:
http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/25/quantifying-the-presidents-speech/

The main site is: http://www.speechwars.com/index.php

Wikinomics» Blog Archive » What are they saying in Congress?
Mar 25, 2009 9:17

[...] Wordles can be a great way to visualize political discourse, especially when you use them in comparative form. After Inauguration Day in January, Naumi wrote an excellent post , using IBM’s ManyEyes analysis to compare Obama’s inaugural speech to those of his predec…. [...]

What are they saying in Congress? « Alex Marshall’s Blog
Apr 11, 2009 14:03

[...] Wordles can be a great way to visualize political discourse, especially when you use them in comparative form. After Inauguration Day in January, Naumi wrote an excellent post , using IBM’s ManyEyes analysis to compare Obama’s inaugural speech to those of his predec…. [...]

Wikinomics – Analyzing the State of the Union: Speeches as data points
Feb 3, 2010 12:41

[...] can now automate this process). Last January I highlighted Wordle and used tag clouds to create a visualization of State of the Union addresses from notable past Presidents. This year, I’ve been spending a [...]

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