CNet’s “The Big Picture”

By Deane Barker on November 8, 2005

The Big Picture is a Flash-based mapping system CNet is using to relate news stories to each other. It’s embedded in the news story interface (I found it when making the last post), or you can make it full screen.

Here’s a link to it in full-screen for a news story, to get you started.

Anyway, you click on a headline, and that becomes the center of the “web,” and other related headlines branch off of it. Click on one of those, and it becomes the center. I went from the article about Windows Defender to an article about Microsoft and Tivo, to a link for Tivo the company, then to a “topic” about DVRs in general…which then branched off to several other items.

I shudder to think how they’re relating all these items to each other. CNet has been around since before tagging got big, but perhaps they were using keywords even back then. Or maybe they have some big automatic keyword extraction tool that they’re using to relate all their old stuff (Kalsey, did you get this contract?).

Interesting. I don’t know how much practical use it has, but it’s….interesting.

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  1. They’ve probably been adding Keyword metadata for years. Most good publications do so, and some even hire librarians to handle classification of their stories.

  2. I remember seeing an online dictionary in the late 90s with a similar approach to show the connections between words. Unfortunately, the web hadn’t progressed enough to handle the graphics involved and I don’t know if the site survived. I thought it was a great idea.

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