CS 448B Project: Big Picture History

Understanding Cultural Patterns Over Time, from Multiple Perspectives

Aaron Kleinsteiber

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As a final project for a class in data visualization, my project partner and I developed a web application to show the ebb and flow of important keywords as they appear in different contexts, such as novels, film, and music, in Wikipedia articles. This visualization helps us understand important cultural trends over time. We used the D3 library for JavaScript, MySQL, PHP, and other scripts to create the application.

We developed a simple method for extracting the relative importance of relevant keywords over time from the user-generated content of Wikipedia, then built an interactive visualization tool to allow us to understand and compare this data.

The interaction design was a collaborative effort between my project partner and me. We took the project from brainstorms to an implementation in four weeks.

For more details about the project, take a look at the poster, which covers the interaction techniques we used at a high level, or the paper which covers everything in much more depth.

For more details about the class, take a look at the class website.