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Building on Tim Bonnemann’s excellent Wordle, and Mark Szpakowski’s suggestion, here’s a first pass at mapping Barack Obama’s speech in Berlin.

The snapshot below displays the top layer of the map. Click anywhere on the image to open and explore the underlying structure—and feel free to log-in and improve the first draft.

In preparing the first draft it has been fascinating to compare the different senses, dimensions and saliencies of the speech that emerge via the different forms and interpretations: video, transcript, Wordle, and map. Let me know what you think below…

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The GSm founding community has strong representation from people interested in the next generation of tools for structuring, manipulating and analysing dialogue and debate at different scales. Complementing these are, of course, tools that will help us work directly with the data, in order to tease out and explain hypotheses and claims that can be fed into such debates.

Gapminder is one such tool, which has been attracting a lot of attention for its compelling visualizations of time-series data.

Gapminder is a non-profit venture promoting sustainable global development and achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals by increased use and understanding of statistics and other information about social, economic and environmental development at local, national and global levels. […]

…the Trendalyzer software […] unveils the beauty of statistical time series by converting boring numbers into enjoyable, animated and interactive graphics. […] Since the Trendalyzer development was taken over by Google the Gapminder Foundation maintain the same aim and uses Trendalyzer and its resources to produce videos and web service showing major global development trends with animated statistics. Such a 3 to10 minute video is called a GapCast and they are published as free web casts with the aim of promoting a fact based world view. A GapCast converts statistical time series into moving graphics in ways that allows evidence based trends to be told as simple story lines. The time series used will be made freely available in the web service called Gapminder World that enable end users to further explore the underlying statistics in Trendalyzer graphics.

Gapminder’s director Hans Roslings gives dynamic presentations with the tool, eg. at TED:

Of specific interest to this group is the application of Gapast to Climate Change: consider for instance this “Gapcast” (Gapcast #10 – Energy & emissions)

Gapminder World is all the data that they’re importing, delivered via an interactive browser app:

Gapminder World lets you explore the changing world from your own computer. Moving graphics show how the development of all countries of the world by the indicators you choose.

Gapminder World is powered by Trendalyzer and Google Spreadsheet.

The Gapminder Graphs Community is their strategy for scaling up data sharing. Since acquisition by Google in 2007, there is now the Motion Chart Google Spreadsheet Gadget to generate animated bubble graphs.

User scenario:

OK, now imagine that we can link easily into a specific point or clip in Gapminder World or Motion Chart as an evidence point, an anchor for a claim that is made within one of the other GSm discourse tools. Or that when I enter that clip in the movie player, or turn on an overlay for Community Debate: How has this data been used in arguments?, it highlights that there is apparent consensus, or a huge debate raging…

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The idea of creating an architecture for global sensemaking is daunting. The field is so all-encompassing, the possibilities so vast, and the wish-list so long, where do you start? In such circumstances, beginning with a few small steps to consolidate existing tools makes sense, and thinking through how that might be done may be a good way to shake out some other ideas.

Click on the diagram to see my version 0.0 thinking.

small view of Compendium map

— Andy Streich

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