Skip to main content

Silobreaker clusters information

Created by a couple of UK computer science students, this newly upgraded aggregator/search engine delivers results that are both broad and deep. Tags are used extensively and to good effect, but the infoviz applications are where the action is.

The Network widget is probably my favorite. To use, hover over a small graphic image to highlight its connections with other items in the network. Hover over bits of text for pop-ups providing additional information. Double-click a node if you want to drill down.

If you're looking for news from a certain region, click the Hot Spots map widget and drill down from there. You can further refine the search by filtering the topic of the news stories.

Unfortunately, the Trends app is buggy, poorly explained and therefore far less useful. And Silobreaker's collection of pre-set topics (global issues, tech, science, business, energy and world) is certainly incomplete. Even so, the site's dashboard-style interface provides lots of entry points for info gathering, and clustering search results by source (blogs, audio/video, fact sheets) allows the user to steer easily toward his or her desired type of content.

I'll be keeping an eye on this one.


Popular posts from this blog

Recommended: a new review "zoo"

"A Tour Through the Visualization Zoo" is a fantastic introduction to some attractive and sophisticated new visualization formats. The article and illos were put together by Stanford's Jeffrey Heer, Michael Bostock, and Vadim Ogievetsky. Heer is an HCI/visualization genius whose journal articles I've been following with interest; Bostock is the whiz behind the D3 archive of javascript code for visualization.

Run, don't walk. It's great.

Blast from the past: a 1974 data treatise by Edward Tufte

Back in 1974, Yale poli-sci professor Edward Tufte published a slim volume called Data Analysis for Politics and Policy (Prentice-Hall, $3.95). The book in its entirety is available for free download (PDFs) at Tufte's website, accompanied by a contemporary review from the Journal of the American Statistical Association. More than 30 years later, the review amuses me with its restrained praise of the perspective that would eventually make Tufte a Major Figure (and a minor fortune):
Tufte puts residual plots to good use to gain understanding of a data set, and he shows how finding outliers gives the analyst hints about the inadequacy of a statistical model... The discussion of graphical techniques in general is quite good... A brief but compelling discussion of the "value of data as evidence," with regard to the interpretation of nonrandom samples, is presented. If you happen to have a spare 48MB lying about, DAPP's worth a download.

[via Sofa Papa]