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Visuwords: the dictionary I never thought I’d want

December 31, 2009

Visuwords is the perfect site for anyone who hated the word relationship section of the G.R.E. or the S.A.T.  It’s a zooming, infinite canvas, word relationship database.  Oh sure, the site calls itself a “graphical dictionary” (whatever that means), but the definitions of the words are almost superfluous (you only get them on a mouse hover, anyway).  Instead, this site feels like it’s illustrating relationships between words, thoughts and ideas.

Start out with a random word, or search for one of your own to have a cloud generated.  Double click on nodes in the cloud to load in their related items.  You can move them around whimsically, if you like, by clicking on a node and dragging it wherever your little heart desires.  When your weather system of words gets too big, they’ve got a pretty neat mousewheel zoom to increase the size of your canvas.  They don’t have springs on zoom or pan, and the mousewheel zoom is not of the zoom-to-point variety, but the whole experience is pretty fantastic, and their data set is amazing.  Check it out.

Kevin Hanes

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