Create Beautiful Word Clouds with

Want to build striking word clouds around custom stencil images? Give a try. Here's what it offers:

Custom Shapes. Choose from a selection of templates, or upload your own images, and the word cloud will be moulded to fit within the silhouette.

Custom Fonts. You can use any font on your machine for the cloud.

High-resolution. Large-format images mean you can order great-looking versions of your visualization as shirts, invitations, mugs or art prints.

HTML5. Using Canvas for rendering means it will even work on iPads or iPhones, as well as on the current versions of all major browsers.

I created the OpenWordCloud renderer as an open-source jQuery plugin, and then built a web service around it. I actually built it at the start of the year, and have used it myself for projects like the Gaddafi speech visualization and for analyzing my favorite novels, but the Data Science Toolkit preparation didn't leave me enough time to do a proper launch. There's still some parts I'm unhappy with, especially the menu responsiveness, but I want to get it out there to get feedback.

If you like this sort of thing, I highly recommend looking at Jonathan Feinberg's awesome Wordle too. It's a wonderful project, and offers much faster rendering thanks to its use of Java and non-raster algorithm for word placement. I just needed something a little different (custom shapes and fonts, iOS support) and wanted to get an open-source version out there for other hackers to build on.


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