August 7, 2006

insight machine: genealogy of influence

Mike Love is working on an interesting project to visualize networks of influence among philosophers, scientists, artists, and architects. He calls it the "genealogy of influence" and it's pretty thought provoking. Mike has been mining wikipedia and classic texts to discover the landscape of interconnection among these scientific, cultural and religious influentials, and he then presents the data in an intuitive and interactive visualization (using prefuse). Even in its early form, I found it a fascinating and mesmerizing way to browse the connection space of intellectual and cultural development. At some point I suspect the nodes (and links?) will be live hyperlinks back to source material, which will make it a very rich tool. Mike wants to find a way to open this up to peer production as well, which is where it will get really interesting. I do hope to see this move beyond the usual suspects of DWEM-dominated intellectualism as well ;-)


My other reaction to seeing this is it would be a perfect interface for the insight machine for American politics. Imagine all of the amazing and detailed information compiled by sunlight, votesmart, rightweb, TPM and others, instantly viewable on a map that is continuously updated by a distributed army of investigative reporters.

There's something big here.

Posted by Gene at August 7, 2006 10:45 AM | TrackBack