Monthly Archives: January 2010

Structure and Complexity of the United States Code

Apparently, the United States Code is complex! There is something about this visualization that makes you want to pull out a weed-whacker.

Zoomable visualization

From the posting:

Mike and I have been working on a paper we hope to soon post to the SSRN entitled ” The Structure and Complexity of the United States Code.”  Yesterday, we presented a pre-alpha version of the paper in the Michigan Center for Political Studies Workshop.  The above visualization  For those who might be interested, the abstract for the working abstract for the paper is below. If you are interested in accessing documentation for the above visualization please click here.

via The Structure and Complexity of the United States Code | Computational Legal Studies™.


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NNDB: Tracking the entire world

If this doesn’t bring to mind Analyst’s Notebook and Palantir, what would? There have been many web-based link diagrammers released (tracking facebook friends, twitter topics, etc), but this one seems to be usable for generating actual results.

The NNDB Mapper is a visual tool for exploring the connections between people in NNDB, linking them together through family relations, corporate boards, movies and TV, political alliances, and shadowy conspiracy groups. Maps can be saved and shared for others to explore.

You start with a search, say, Lynx Gaede, 1/2 of the Nazi teenie-bopper twin band Prussian Blue. Here is her profile page on NNDB:

Then, click the NNDB Mapper in the top right corner.

You get a simple entity link map. Hover the mouse over April Gaede, the stage mom, and in the resulting dropdown, click “Expand 3 Nodes.” Then do the same with National Alliance, and you will see luminaries like Kevin Strom, founder of the National Vanguard.

In this way you can being uncovering connections between people. The database appears to be crowd-sourced, so it gets more useful and complete the more people use it. Neat.

The maps can get complicated. Here’s the New York Times link map.

via NNDB: Tracking the entire world.

While we’re on it, who are Prussian Blue? Here’s the documentary:

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How to Make a Heatmap – a Quick and Easy Solution | FlowingData

Do you have columns of data? Do you have rows of labels? Do you like heat?

You can make a heat map for quick visual analysis of tables! Using R, a free, open source interactive statistics package available on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS, you can load your .csv data, define some colors, et voila! You find out where teh hotz is.

Sample heat map

What is a heat map, in this implementation? The source article describes it as “a table that has colors in place of numbers. Colors correspond to the level of the measurement. Each column can be a different metric like above, or it can be all the same like this one. It’s useful for finding highs and lows and sometimes, patterns.”

Intelligence analysts and RCMP officers may see a use for this in SLEIPNIR.

via How to Make a Heatmap – a Quick and Easy Solution | FlowingData.

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IMINT & Analysis: Free Intel Career Webinar

On Thursday, 28 January, at 1100 PST, Professor Edward M. Roche, Ph.D., J.D. will lead a free “Insider’s Guide” webinar on the impact of social networking and virtual worlds on intelligence collection. During the webinar Professor Roche will discuss topics including methods of intelligence gathering and surveillance through social networks, actions being taken by law enforcement and intelligence agencies to monitor and combat terrorism through social networks, and the legal implications of using the Internet as a medium on intelligence gathering.

Register here:

via IMINT & Analysis: Free Intel Career Webinar.

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Security Jam: Massive online conference

Security & Defence Agenda (SDA), a Brussels-based think tank, is hosting “Security Jam.”

Security Jam is an online conference where thousands of representatives and experts from around the world will provide input into security strategies and analysis of threats to international peace.

The Jam Session is to be open to defence and security specialists and non-specialists alike with the aim of widening the security debate beyond purely military matters. The growing importance of NGOs in security thinking and practice is due to be reflected in the Jam Session’s week-long discussions.

Register at this URL:

What is a “jam?” Here’s a video about online jamming, how to find your “myJam” page, bookmarking discussions, etc. Very cool! Watch the video here.

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The Analytics X Competition

The Analytics X Competition’s current contest for 2010 is “Predicting Homicides in Philadelphia.” 4.8m people in 47 zip codes, 333 homicides in 2007. What will the number be in 2011? Which are the dangerous neighborhoods? Read more:

The Zero Intelligence Agents blog has been writing about the Analytics X Prize ( Here is Drew’s take on the contest, “Heatmap of Predicted Probability of Homicide in Philadelphia”

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Visualization tool Exhibit lets you make information-rich web pages

Locations of top 30 billionaires in the world.
is open source software that lets you easily create web pages with search, filtering, maps, timelines, etc.

It is one of the SIMILE Widgets family, see Exhibit samples in action (and download) here.

Example: Where have all the billionaires gone? Find them here.

If you’re a web developer, you simply have to see SIMILIE’s Timeline widget..

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