Monday, November 20, 2006


Visualizing Wikipedia Evolution

(This is not an article marked for deletion but rather a topic for us to discuss.)

The entry for evolution on Wikipedia was altered 2,081 times by 68 editors between December 2001 and last October. IBM's Watson Research Center produced the image at left, which tracks the transformation. Each vertical line is a new version; each color is a different editor. A black line occurs whenever the entire entry is deleted by a vandal. The initial version of evolution (indicated by the "1") is 526 words long.

For more details of this study, see Susan Kruglinski's "Map: Evolution Evolving, A very public online fracas" DISCOVER Vol. 27 No. 07. Image credit: Visual Communication Lab, IBM Research.

Oh, do you actually believe in the evolution theory?
I find it really interesting that the visual representation resembles not just a little the coastline and border with Mexico of the southwest United States. 1 is Portland or Seattle and it swoops down and around San Diego from there continuing along Arizona, New Mexico, etc. Hmmm...
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