Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mapping Research With WikiMaps

AlphaGalileo (07/02/12) 

The evolution of a page, topic, or collection of connections on Wikipedia can be mapped using a dynamic tool from an international research team. The new tool, WikiMaps, makes use of the underlying information in the metadata of each article about the page's authors, contributions, edits, updates, and changes. The metadata "opens new opportunities to investigate the processes that lie behind the creation of the content as well as the relations between knowledge domains," say researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Collective Intelligence. They note WikiMaps combines different metrics and metadata from Wikipedia to fill in the gap of providing a fine-grained semantic network of relevant articles. "Cultural influences are deeply engrained in each of us, influencing how we act and respond to external influences," the researchers say. "WikiMaps could offer a fascinating real-time window into current history and culture, spotting trends as they are unfolding right under our noses." The tool also could be extended laterally to incorporate versions of Wikipedia in other languages.