Slate: News Dots

Barack Obama is the new Kevin Bacon.

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Editor's Pick

Slate's News Dots dataviz feature shows how topics or figures in the news are connected. The interactive graphic illustrates news topics and figures as if they were in a social network. Subjects are connected if they appear together in at least two news stories, and the bigger the dot, the more connections a subject has.

News Dots works by scanning articles from major news publications and submitting them to Calais, a service that tags the content with keywords. If two subjects are tagged within a story, they become connected. The visualizer ultimately will reveal clusters of connections, as if you were imagining Facebook friends' connections and saw the various groups aggregated around schools or work.

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Feb 26, 2010
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