Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Keyword Networks - The Bigger Picture

In a previous post (Clickable Keywords from WikiSummarizer) I introduced the "clickable" keywords feature of WikiSummarizer

This feature allows you to follow your train of thought from a review of an initial summarised article through a network of related articles.  This is done by clicking on a keyword within a summary and WikiSummarizer will present a summary of a Wiki article for that keyword.


It would also be great to get a visual image of the resulting network of interrelated summaries, linked by the selected keywords.  An application to do this is not available currently (is it?) but one approach that is reasonable for a small network of linked keywords is to use a mind mapping application.

The idea is to download each WikiSummarizer summary as it is found to the mind mapping application.  Next copy and paste each summary into the initial map as floating main topics (that is, a floating topic that has child topics like the central main topic does).  Once you have all the keyword summaries pasted in this way you can then connect the keywords using relationships.

image Here is a finished example using summaries download directly into XMind.  (You can achieve a similar result using MindManager).  The keyword path is highlighted by icons (in this case, an unlocked padlock), shading in red and the links drawn as relationships. (Click on the image to see a full size version.)

In the example, we started with an article on "Carl Jung". One of the keywords in the returned summary is "psychology" so a summary was found, downloaded, copied and pasted onto the "Carl Jung" map.  Interest was then aroused in the keyword "individuation" and a summary was found and added to the map as before.  This led to a further summary for "personality" being added.  A review of the resulting diagram showed shared keywords between summaries and these were linked with relationships.

This simple example shows how it is possible to build a visual network of the key topics associated with a subject, built up from a review of several (or many) summaries and the links between common keywords, resulting in a broader, deeper and richer picture.

Now wouldn't it be great if you could do all of this working with a single map and have the links made and highlighted for you as you go ..........

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