Color Code is a full-color portrait of the English language.
The artwork is an interactive map of more than 33,000 words. Each word has been assigned a color based on the average color of images found by a search engine. The words are then grouped by meaning. The resulting patterns form an atlas of our lexicon.
Here’s a beautiful visual map of the English language, using 33,000 nouns collected by WordNet. “Each tiny rectangle corresponds to a noun,” the Color Code FAQ helpfully explains. “The color of the rectangle has been assigned a color, based on an internet image search for that noun. The words are clustered so that similar words are near each other.” To navigate you can use the search function or click and zoom. The image above, titled “Grass,” is from their gallery page.
I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. I grew up in Houston, as a part of what we only half-jokingly call the Cajun Diaspora. At a certain point during the Regan administration, I had to leave, so I served in the Peace Corps, Philippines, from 1987-89. I didn't want to return to the United States just yet, so I moved to Paris, France, where I lived for three years or so.
I then moved back to Austin, Texas, where I had received my Masters Degree, and (eventually) began a Ph.D., which I completed in 1999. I spent a year at Temple University and then accepted a position at Eastern Illinois University where I worked until May of 2006. I now work exclusively on line (although that may change) for Johns Hopkins, the Art Institute Online, and Smarthinking.com.
I can be reached most easily via email: raywatkins [that 'at' symbol] writinginthewild.com