Power Struggle at Wikipedia

About 4 million “Wikipedians” have made over 130 million edits, and the English-language version alone contains 1.7 million articles. Every second a new edit is made, and every day 2000 new articles spring up.

How do you keep track of the bubbling mass of information that is Wikipedia?

This chaotic-looking mosaic is one attempt to show which topics are contained in the online encyclopedia, and those most hotly contested.

To make sense of it all, Bruce Herr and Todd Holloway of Indiana University, Bloomington, created clusters of 300 or so articles that touch on a related topic, such as a religion or a famous person. For each cluster they took one picture from the most popular article and laid them out in a circular grid.

Executive Dashboard

 

The viz is a huge 5 feet by 5 feet when printed

The sizes of the nodes (circles, dots, whatever you want to call them), are based on a model of revision activity. So large circles indicate that an article might be controversial, or the subject of lots of vandalism, or just a topic whose content frequently changes. We labeled only the largest nodes, to keep it readable. There is an interactive version of this in the works based on the google maps platform which will change the labels and pictures used as the user ‘zooms’ in or out.

Executive Dashboard

The image used for each tile was selected automatically, simply by using the first image in the most linked to article among all the articles in that tile.

Simply Awesome!

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