Folksonomy visualisation

Wordnet trees

As part of the folksonomy analysis we compared the total corpus of tags used by the participants with a standard thesaurus - Wordnet. We found that the taggers used significantly more terms as tags than they strictly needed to if they were using a taxonomic thesaurus. In total, the 30 participants used 1396 unique tags to describe the 40 websites. When this dataset was cleaned for obvious misspellings, variations in capitalisation and punctuation and so on, we were left with 1152 unique tags. When we then compared this folksonomy with a standard thesaurus (Word Net) we were able to identify 721 unique WordNet words that mapped onto the folksonomy. Thus we can say that the folksonomy used approximately 60% more terms than an official taxonomy. This is roughly in line with other research thus our study helped verify pre-existing research into folksonomy.

As an extra step we attempted to use Wordnet's relational browser to describe the tagged sites using just the tags. By clicking any of the links below you can see the Wordnet "tree" for each site. This visualisation helps point one way in which, perhaps, folksonomic information could be harvested and used.

Browser notes. The wordnet trees work best using Opera, Firefox 2+, and Internet Explorer 7+.

If the graphic below does not show properly, click here to view in separate window.

This model was produced by Dave Everitt and Ben Daglish. Some other interesting folksonomy visualisations can be found on Well-formed Data and via IBM's visualiser - Many Eyes.

Contact: Prof. Sue Thomas, School of Media and Cultural Production, Clephan Building, De Montfort University, Leicester LE1 9BH, UK. Tel. +44 (0)116 207 8266, fax +44 (0) 116 257 7199, email Sue.Thomas at dmu dot ac dot uk.