Supporting the NodeLink.io project: intuitive tools enable investigative reporters to visualize networks

It’s been a long time that the Gephi team is looking to the web as a platform for network visualization:

  • The Gephi Toolkit enables the use of Gephi on servers.
  • The Seadragon Export plugin facilitates interactive publishing (quickly followed by great plugins from the community).
  • The GraphGL experiment has advanced our understanding of WebGL, a promising technology.
  • A Web gallery with easy publishing system from Gephi is under development.

But so far we focused on the Gephi software itself. Part of our team is now willing to create a novel online platform which will benefit from our experience in making Gephi. With a focus on network sketching, easy data gathering and publishing facilities across various devices, we aim at democratizing the investigation and reporting of real-world networks: organisations, lobbying, government spending, crime networks, financial and human migration flows, social media, and more.

We believe that network thinking is of tremendous importance in investigative journalism: the media industry is facing big challenges, yet citizens need comprehensive stories on the complex situations that shakes our societies at a high pace (e.g. the Euro debt crisis, the Arab Spring, etc.). Investigating these events takes time and journalists struggle with scientific tools like Gephi to explore data and produce clear visuals. We lack of a new tool, open to everyone, to investigate networks and reveal evidences easily.

Hence we propose to develop NodeLink.io, an online platform for investigative reporters which makes node-link data actionable by easily sketching and publishing network visuals on various media. Journalists will gain a powerful tool to explain complex stories, and citizens will gain a better understanding of the mechanics that rule our societies.

We are applying for the Knight News Challenge to support this project. The Knight Foundation aims at accelerating media innovation by funding breakthrough ideas in news and information. Watch the introduction below or go directly to read our short proposal (500 words), and leave us a comment here to claim your support. Proposals are evaluated on the light of these discussions as well, so please give us early feedback!

2 Comments

  1. you guys should checkout debategraph.org
    they are working on networks of arguments for 6 years now and have experience in bringing the networks to the white house or cnn for example. they are doing it in flash but are thinking about porting it into javascript or similar.

    good luck! looking forward to Nodelink.io Its an important idea

    Reply

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