Related academic paper:

The Word Tree, An Interactive Visual Concordance
Martin Wattenberg
Fernanda Viégas
democratizing visualization



communication interfaces

art & design



Word Tree
with Martin Wattenberg

A word tree is a visual search tool for unstructured text, such as a book, article, speech or poem. It lets you pick a word or phrase and shows you all the different contexts in which it appears. The contexts are arranged in a tree-like branching structure to reveal recurrent themes and phrases.

The image above is a word tree made from Martin Luther King's famous "I have a dream" speech, using the search term "I." Font sizes show frequency of use, so you can see that among King's many uses of "I," the most frequent context is the phrase "I have a dream."

With the right phrase, a word tree can reveal the heart of a data set. Below is a word tree for a collection of personals ads from men who reveal they are married: