[okfn-discuss] Gephi network visualization proposal for the Knight News Challenge

Friedrich Lindenberg friedrich.lindenberg at okfn.org
Wed May 30 14:30:23 UTC 2012

Hey Sébastien,

this is exciting! I've written about the need for such a tool here [1]
and here [2] and I'm obviously a great fan of your work.

I've also done some work on a versioned, multi-tenant backend to
social graphs, which you can find at [3] - the docs are crap, but the
thing is working and has both a normal REST and a GEXF export
interface (to feed sigma.js, of course :). Really need to get into the
habit of announcing this stuff :)

Going forward, I'd love to learn more about your plans and would also
recommend you apply not only to the KNC, but also to the African News
Information Challenge.

I do think such a tool would fill a very big need with advocates, for
journalists I think you may have to push them a bit before they
realize the full potential (start with investigatives).

Regarding your idea of linking this to CKAN/OpenSpending: I believe
this is how we will make both usable to advocates in the future. Our
portals offer a lot of (somewhat raw) resource and we need to find a
way for journalists and researchers to pull the bits that they really
need into a workbench where they can connect it to other datasets,
further evidence etc. Given they want to explore actor constellations
etc., a graph representation may be much more natural to this than
e.g. purely tabular data. Any good solution to this is going to have
to do frustrating amounts of entity recognition and record linkage,
though, before it becomes in any way useful and shiny.

Let's talk if you're interested, I'm friedrich.cleversoft on Skype and
on #okfn in FreeNode.


 - Friedrich

[1] http://pudo.org/2011/12/19/sna.html
[2] http://pudo.org/2012/05/15/shuttleworth.html (bottom section)
[3] http://github.com/pudo/grano

On Wed, May 30, 2012 at 4:14 PM, Sébastien Heymann
<sebastien.heymann at gephi.org> wrote:
> Dear OKF Team,
> I'm Sébastien Heymann, co-leader of the Gephi project
> (https://gephi.org/), an open source tool to make sense with
> relational data. I'm contacting you because we are considering to
> apply for the next Knight News Challenge about data
> (http://newschallenge.tumblr.com/faqs). Our idea is to create the
> "Many Eyes" of networked data, for any kind of networks such as social
> networks, interlocking directorates, email, Web, etc...and we need
> your opinion on it.
> This project will be a web platform to host, explore, and communicate
> networked data on the Web, mobile and newspapers. The goal is to speed
> up the work of journalists for the analysis and communication of
> networks. Users will be able to explore networks and edit data
> collaboratively like in:
> http://maps.e-diasporas.fr/index.php?focus=section&section=5
> Users will be also able to easily make embedded visualizations like
> the following ones:
> http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9159131/Syria-Asma-and-Bashar-al-Assads-email-network.html
> http://ecologie.blog.lemonde.fr/2012/04/16/facenuke-la-cartographie-du-lobby-nucleaire-francais/
> However we would like to know if this kind of tool fills some critical
> needs for the journalists, and how to improve the proposal. What do
> you think about the idea? I would be glad to discuss with you and your
> expectations. I guess we might connect the platform to the Data Hub
> and Open Spending to enable easy network analysis.
> Thank you very much for your time,
> Sébastien Heymann
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