Tag clouds are getting a bit old and they are definitely not the most scientific way to visually summarize text contents. They are still a quick and dirty way of getting an overview of the language used in a text, though. In this case, I created tag clouds from the titles of accepted papers and posters at the respective last iterations of five big conferences in the field (GIScience 2014, AGILE 2014, COSIT 2013, ACM SIGSPATIAL GIS 2013, and Geocomputation 2013). In the case of AGILE and GIScience, these meetings are yet to be held, but the accepted papers were already listed (just full papers so far in the case of GIScience).
I did these for a lecture about current hot research topics in GIScience to give the students a quick overview of what the different sub-communities are working on. What I did not quite expect is how well the tag clouds reflect my thinking of the different conferences – e.g., with AGILE and GIScience a bit more on the applied side, COSIT heavy on the theoretical side, and SIGSPATIAL focusing on computational issues. Also, the only big topic they all have in common is spatial data. I would have expected a few more terms prominently popping out at all five conferences, but apparently they are all catering to distinct sub-communities.