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Word Constellations

This online services takes words off the page — and makes visual patterns of related terms.

The Visual Thesaurus, by Thinkmap Inc., maps relationships among words in three dimensions, rotating to reveal the entire universe of related words. It's like the class know-it-all, but more fun: Placing the cursor over a word (colored by part of speech) reveals its meaning; placing it between words shows how they are related. Clicking on a meaning reorders the universe with the new word at the center. Online subscriptions are $11.95 a year (

A version of this article appeared in the August 2004 issue of Fast Company magazine.