Mapping the web – pearltrees

As I’m a visual kind of person, I like visual methods of mapping abstract information.  Which is pearltrees – part blog, part social media, part flow chart.

It is made up of “nodes” (the pearls). Each node is fully customisable – descritpions, notes,  custom icons, which are then anchored on a root node (the base of the tree).It sounds more complicated than it actually is, here is me prepping articles about the Rothschilds’ influence on UK politics for example:

My pearltree showing my bookmarks for The Rothschilds influence on UK politics

Mousing over a node will open up a mini view of the page linked to

What's that "Bloody Milton" thingie....? (click to visit/navigate)

Anyone can browse a pearltree, go on have a play – http://pearltrees.com/sirdigbycc – however an account is needed to actually make one.

It’s fully web 2.0, with feeds for twitter, facebook et al, and you can also check for similar content in other users pearl trees, meaning you will often find things that interest you that you may not have normally come across. You can freely copy pearls from other trees, likewise they from yours and you can set up group curated perl trees.

Used in conjunction with browser add-ons (see below) it’s painless, and most importantly your trees are fully exportable. In other words it’s easy to back up and even more essential easy to take your shit and leave if you fall out.

The Nitty Gritty

The following browsers have add ons available for total integration:

google chrome, firefox.

While for IE. Safari or Opera – there’s a  bookmarklet.

http://marklets.com/FAQ.aspx#howDoIAddABookmarkletToMyBrowser

Still puzzled?

Pearltree video presentation here:


 

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CiF Graph update 9th September

A warm welcome to sostherope and geoing who can find their bar in the green area.

Oh and if you’re searching for this blog using google look for “tags c1nf” or “tags comment is not free” will usually get a link in the first 5 or so.

The different areas by inhabitants:

Blue:
Gordon Brown, Margaret Thatcher, Adolf Hitler.

Cyan:
Milton Bloody Friedman, GrammarSchoolBoy.

Red:
Joseph Stalin, Igoras (just).

Green:
10percent, 55DegreesNorth, Agreewith, Arbitrarynight, Arseneknows, Cmnimo, The Dalai Lama, darrenlollipopman, Dhuoda, Digby Chicken Ceasar, Eccentrix, F4frances, Fulminor, geoing, Giselle, GunboatD, Hacklesup, HindleA, Icaruss, Igoras, Ireadnews, Kermaria, Lightacandle, Lopedevega, Lundiel, Manningtreeimp, Martin Rowson, M K Gandhi, Nemossister, Not1fish, Oheckitshimagain, PeleMcAmble, Roachclip, Rochdalelass, RogerOThornhill, Showmaster, Steve Mann, Swedinburgh, ShanksaLot, sostherope, Theamighty, Torquie, Urnotanatheist, WatchfulBob, Whizzgiggle, Wmd101 & Zapthecrap.


CiF graph 2.0 – new improved power cubelets

Hit a slight stumbler coding for the text labels, but finally found a good sample snippet to help me get my head around the concepts. The graph is still as confusing as hell but who cares – behold and wonder at the power of the label.

A warm welcome to our 2 newest members: GrammarSchoolBoy & Dhuoda who will find themselves in the cyan and green areas respectively.

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Larger images here (click to enlarge):

The different areas by inhabitants:

Blue:
Gordon Brown, Margaret Thatcher, Adolf Hitler.

Cyan:
Milton Bloody Friedman, GrammarSchoolBoy.

Red:
Joseph Stalin, Igoras (just).

Green:
10percent, 55DegreesNorth, Agreewith, Arbitrarynight, Arseneknows, Cmnimo, The Dalai Lama, darrenlollipopman, Dhuoda, Digby Chicken Ceasar, Eccentrix, F4frances, Fulminor, Giselle,GunboatD, Hacklesup, HindleA, Icaruss, Igoras, Ireadnews, Kermaria, Lightacandle, Lopedevega, Lundiel, Manningtreeimp, Martin Rowson, M K Gandhi, Nemossister, Not1fish, Oheckitshimagain, PeleMcAmble, Roachclip, Rochdalelass, RogerOThornhill, Showmaster, Steve Mann, Swedinburgh, ShanksaLot, Theamighty, Torquie, Urnotanatheist, WatchfulBob, Whizzgiggle, Wmd101 & Zapthecrap.


Cif graphed

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Find out where your cubelet is here – latest snapshots with labels!

Instructions on how to get mapped have been moved to their own page to reduce clutter.

A warm welcome to PeleMcAmble and 55DegreesNorth the two newest cubelets on the grassy green uplands of the CiF cartoon comment section.

Still tweaking the map – I’ve added in labels for the axis, made the central axis more transparent, positioned the cameras better and added new images to the slide show. I finally had a break though in being able to label each cube, see the first images here

And I have to say I’m pretty pleased with the lighting rig – all the objects are white, each area is lit according to its “ideology” and that gives the colour to the objects. So those closer to one or both axis will have multiple colours depending on the viewing angle.

The final few images have had their Axis of Evil turned on – the higher they go the less morally toxic they are – so Stalin and Hitler are on the floor while the Dalai Lama is clearly looking down on everyone. Note however the data for the benchmarks (Hitler, Stalin etc) is coming from this survey (so add your voice and see if you can move them up or down) and I’m using a neutral value for anyone that hasn’t submitted a Machiavelli reading.

Also I’d just like to register my pleasant surprise in welcoming the Guardian comment cartoonist Martin Rowson to the Green zone.

The different areas by inhabitants:

Blue:
Gordon Brown, Margaret Thatcher, Adolf Hitler.

Cyan:
Milton Bloody Friedman.

Red:
Joseph Stalin, Igoras (just).

Green:
Roachclip, 10percent, Digby Chicken Ceasar, Whizzgiggle, Rochdalelass, Lundiel, Oheckitshimagain, RogerOThornhill, Not1fish, Lightacandle, Kermaria, Manningtreeimp, Fulmin8or, Icaruss, Arbitrarynight, Torquie, Hindlea, Arseneknows, Lopedevega, Giselle97, Zapthecrap, Wmd101, Nemossister, F4frances, Agreewith, Hacklesup, Thea1mighty, Eccentrix, ShanksaLot, Urnotanatheist, GunboatD, Cmnimo, Ireadnews, darrenlollipopman, M K Gandhi, The Dalai Lama, Martin Rowson, WatchfulBob, PeleMcAmble and 55DegreesNorth.


Pythoning

I’ve been rooting about under Blender‘s bonnet to turn this

Roachclip -7.75 -8.10
10percent -7.75 -7.33
Digby Chicken Ceasar -5.21 -5.12
Whizzgiggle -8 -5.85
Rochdalelass -6.75 -1.33
Lundiel -9.00 -5.44
Oheckitshimagain -4.12 -4.15
RogerOThornhill -8.88 -6.87
Not1fish -8.88 -8.05
Lightacandle -9.12 -6.56
Kermaria -4.00 4.56
Manningtreeimp -5.88 -5.08
Fulmin8or -8.00 -5.49
Icaruss -5.25 -4.56
Arbitrarynight -8.88 -8.10
Torquie -8.12 -5.49
Hindlea -9.62 -9.03
Arseneknows -8.25 -5.49
Lopedevega -5.75 -3.33
Giselle97 -7.62 -1.64
Zapthecrap -7.75 -9.49
Wmd101 -7.38 -7.28
Nemossister -7.00 -5.85
F4frances -5.25 -5.38
Agreewith -8.25 -7.74
Hacklesup -6.50 -3.90
Igoras -4.75 0.31
Thea1mighty -6.57 -4.65
Eccentrix -4.5 -3.08
ShanksaLot -5.75 -5.85
Urnotanatheist -2.00 -0.26
GunboatD -7.62 -7.18
Cmnimo -7.00 -5.95
Ireadnews -8.12 -7.74
darrenlollipopman -9.62 -8.31
Gandhi -5 -5
Thatcher 7 7
Friedman 9 -1.5
Stalin -8 8.5
Gordon Brown 5.5 2
The Dalai Lama -4 -6

into 3D objects. So far it’s been quite pleasant, but I have had the tendency to steer towards the insanely optimistic about the time actually required for code writing projects in the past so I refuse to be drawn on when it’ll be finished.

ps Yes, I do realise that out of Gandhi, Thatcher, Friedman, Stalin, Gordon Brown and The Dalai Lama possibly only one of them would be likely to read, never mind comment on the comment cartoon section of the Guardian.


Mapping, still mapping.

So still working on the 3d graphing.

In the images below you can see Margaret Thatcher (blue region), Joseph Stalin (red region), Milton Friedman (cyan region) and the Dalai Lama (green region). I substituted cyan, which sits between blue and green on colour wheels for politicalcompass.org‘s purple, and once I used it it did seem to be apt for the less people friendly side of the chart.

As I hinted at in Mapping the CiF and the Axis of Evil, I’ve been playing with lighting rigs to colour the data points, while this can also be done by programatically changing the colour of the materials, I wanted to see if painting with light was a viable option for the added symbolism, ie the closer to the any of the axis the less they are coloured by their chosen ideology and become coloured by the reflections from other ideologies whilst blending to make white at the crossing point of the axis.

I’m also still toying with setting a camera on a rail and flying around to make an animation, but here is the Work so far:

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The central walls are there as visible guides for the amount of moral/amorality each data point has, as outlined in Politics and morality. There is no data fro the Axis of Evil yet and this is where you, the reader, can help:

please complete this short survey I’ve knocked together on how you view various political icons. It’s anonymous and should take 3-5 minutes for your time. I’ll use the results as yard sticks for creating a scale for the Axis of Evil.


Mapping the CiF and the Axis of Evil

graph base

First things first, I need control data for the axis of evil – to do this I’ve grouped some fairly black and white politicians and famous people and all you have to do is decide on their moral integrity.

As to working on the cartoon comment section map it looks like my worries about 3D graphing were unfounded. I already have a passing acquaintance with Blender. The solution is simply to write a short python script that will create objects and use the data points to place the object in 3d space.

Of course one of the advantages of using a real 3d app is you get to play with lighting rigs, rather than relying on image transparencies to fake shadows and highlights:

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I think it could also be interesting to make an animation of the data being added.