Visual Thesaurus

I didn’t see any threads on this, although it may have been mentioned. It’s worth a thread, anyway.

Visual Thesaurus

It’s basically a subscription Thesaurus service, but it’s a lot more involved than that. What it does is provide a visual map of synonyms that branch off depending on which aspect of the definition another word relates to. You end up with a map of related words that you can navigate around to give you ideas or narrow down the meaning you wanted to convey.

The offline version is $40, or the online access fee is $20/year. I went with the latter, which was reasonable enough for me to subscribe.

It’s a spiffy graphical front-end layered on top of the freely available WordNet. Very nicely done, though.

The speed of processing a visual map is worth the $20/year for me. Take a word like train and compare the VT result to WordNet’s. I’m totally sold on VT’s approach.

They have Microsoft Word integration in beta, too.

Visual Thesaurus is definitely a really nifty language toy. I wish they would hook extensive etymologies and relationships there as well into it; it’d be perfect then.

Oh hell yeah, I wasn’t suggesting you should use WordNet instead – rather, just pointing out that you’re only shelling out for the interface alone, since the underlying data is free. VT is really well done.

Now, if you’re interested in linguistics or language-related coding, holy crap is the WordNet database AWESOME. VT is just a nicely-polished tip of the iceberg :)