Thursday, March 19, 2009

Visual Thesaurus

In January, I made a post about the Visual Dictionary Online (By Merriam Webster) which is an interactive dictionary with an innovative approach that definitely catches the eye.

This morning I found the Visual Thesaurus (VT) which is an interactive dictionary and thesaurus which creates word maps that blossom with meanings and branch to related words. Its innovative display encourages exploration and learning. I think you'll understand language in a powerful new way.

Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus

The site will also pronounce the word for you, provide definitions, and list words as nouns and verbs. It will even provide sample sentences that include the word. This is definitely a very cool site.

According to the website, "say you have a meaning in mind, like "happy." The VT helps you find related words, from "cheerful" to "euphoric." The best part is the VT works like your brain, not a paper-bound book. You'll want to explore just to see what might happen. You'll discover -- and learn -- naturally and intuitively. You'll find the right word, write more descriptively, free associate -- and gain a more precise understanding of the English language.

The Visual Thesaurus is available in both the Desktop Edition and Online Edition. (click here to compare the two)

With both versions of the Visual Thesaurus, you can:
Find the right word. The VT has over 145,000 English words and 115,000 meanings. Find the word you need and discover related meanings.
*Develop a better vocabulary. See how words are used in different parts of speech.
*Use words precisely. The intuitive interface helps you find words through their semantic relationship with other words and meanings.
*Master word usage. Roll over a meaning to see its definition and example sentences that express that meaning.
*Improve your grammar. Meanings are color-coded to indicate parts of speech.
*Explore 39,000 proper nouns. Historical figures, phrases and trademarks are included. Look up Mozart, Manda or simply, "M."
*Check your spelling. The VT suggests a word if you spell it wrong.
*Hear words pronounced correctly. The VT offers both American and British pronunciations (Internet connection necessary)
*Personalize your experience. Use the Settings Panel to control font size, filter content, display up to 17 semantic relationships and more.
*Browse language in 2D or 3D. Rotate word maps in three dimensions to reveal complex relationships.
*Connect to the Internet. Right-click on any word to launch an Internet search for images or information.

With the Online Edition you can also:
*Access the VT from anywhere. No software to install, access from virtually any computer with an Internet connection.
*Email word maps to friends. Share your favorite words with friends and family.
*Explore five additional languages. Search for words in Spanish, German, Italian French and Dutch, as well as English. (International features are still in beta)
*Unlimited access to our magazine. Read features about language and the creative process and join a community passionate about words, language and creativity."

The online edition is $2.95/month or $19.95/year. The desktop edition is $39.95 for Windows or Mac (CD-ROM or download). They also provide an educational link that will give you some ideas on how to apply VT in the classroom.

Check it out and make a comment. Let us know what you think! J.T.


  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  2. Thanks for reading and thanks for the comment! I hope you will continue to add comments and please feel free to post anything interesting that you might find. J.T.


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