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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.

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