Wikipedia Visualizations

This page shows a selection of stunning visualizations based on Wikimedia content, found on the web. All are eye candy. Many marvel at the sheer size of Wikipedia. Some excel in providing new insights. Judge for yourself.

Also notice how circles are really en vogue with visualizers :-)

Unless stated otherwise none of the web sites is affiliated with or endorsed by the Wikimedia Foundation.

IBM: History Flow

   The history flow application charts the evolution of a document as it is edited by many people using a very simple visualization technique. All text segments contributed by the same editor are marked with a unique color. The diagram shows how some editors produce long lasting content, while others don't. With enough editors contributing to an article, almost every paragraph or even sentence gets modified in the long run.

Authors: Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg researchers at IBM's Visual Communication Lab - Research paper (2004) - Web Site

IBM: Chromogram

   A chromogram describes the unique edit pattern of a wikipedian by categorizing and color coding edits.

Chromograms for distinct persons (and bots!) can be markedly dissimilar.

Authors: Fernanda Viégas, Martin Wattenberg and Kate Hollenbach researchers at IBM's Visual Communication Lab - Research paper (2004) - Web Site

Tod Holloway: The 'Power Struggle' in Wikipedia

   The chart shows all 650,000 Wikipedia articles that existed at the time. Similar articles are grouped.

Most linked to articles are represented with a picture. Yellow dots show the edit activity per article, large dots signal many edits.

'Power Struggle' is a juicy but debatable tagging for 'Large Edit Activity'.

Author: Tod Holloway (2007) - Web Site - Gigapan edition, also later edition

Yonathan Feinberg: Wordle

This chart is based on the full text of the English Wikipedia article on Barack Obama (19 June 2009 18:06 GMT) The size of a word in the visualization is proportional to the number of times the word appears in the input text. Any text can function as input.

Author of Wordle: Yonathan Feinberg (2009) - Credits - Web Site

László Kozma: WikipediaVision

   WikipediaVision is an (almost) real-time visualization of Wikipedia edits and what part of the world they come from.

Author: László Kozma (2007-2009) - Web Site

Will Muto: The WIKIPEDIA Effect 2.0

Quote: "Using Processing, I am traversing a mere fraction of Wikipedia's massive link structure and creating maps in 3D space. This is a work in progress."

Author: Will Muto (2007) - Web Site

Chris Harrison: Top 50 visited articles on English Wikipedia

   For each month from August 2006 till May 2007 the chart shows the 50 most visited articles on the English Wikipedia according to the (now gone) WikiCharts by Leon Weber.

Author: Chris Harrison (2007) - Web Site

Chris Harrison: Clusterball

   Three levels of category pages are shown. Pages that are linked from a central node (in this case Humans) are rendered inside the ball. Pages that are linked to the latter are rendered on the outer ring. Links between category pages are color coded by depth from the parent node. Nodes are clustered such that edge lengths are minimized.

Author: Chris Harrison (2007) - Web Site

Myshkin Ingawale : Wikipedia Article Network

   Visualisation of article growth on Cebuano Wikipedia. Larger size means higher edit count. Articles darken with age.

Author: Myshkin Ingawale (2007-2009) - Web Site : The Graphical Knowledge Engine

   Quotes: ", powered by vionto, [..] visualizes facts as well as relationships between facts."

"Furthermore, allows you to collect, process and publish interesting bits of information. is a graphical knowledge engine"

Note content is not restricted to Wikipedia
June 2009:English&German Wikipedia+PubMed

Owner: (2009)
Web Site

Simon le Bon : Language Development on Wikipedia

   Sizes of circles represent number of articles per Wikipedia at chosen date.

Different slices through Wikipedia's history from 2001 till 2006 can be chosen, with fluent transition between slices.

Author: Simon le Bon (Lebon ?) (2006) - Web Site

Moritz Stefaner • Dario Taraborelli • Giovanni Luca Ciampaglia:
100 Longest Article for Deletion [AfD] discussions on Wikipedia

   Each time a user joins an AfD discussion and recommends to keep, merge, or redirect the article a green segment leaning towards the left is added. Each time a user recommends to delete the article a red segment leaning towards the right is added. As the discussion progresses, the length of the segments as well as the angle slowly decay.

Authors: Dario Taraborelli, Giovanni Luca Ciampaglia (data and analysis) and Moritz Stefaner (visualization).

JESS3 & William Beutler: The State of Wikipedia

   A digital creative shop called JESS3 (focussing on branding, animation, data viz) released their visual 'case study' about Wikipedia.

Produced by: JESS3 (visualization), William Beutler (story line) and Jimmy Wales (narration).

Knowledge Space Lab, e-humanities group: Wikipedia categories vs Universal Decimal Classification

   These maps show the differences between the category structure of the Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) system and Wikipedia.

Produced by: Almila Akdag Salah, Cheng Gao, Krzystof Suchecki, Andrea Scharnhorst ( Knowledge Space Lab, e-humanities group, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Gareth Lloyd and Tom Martin: A history of the world in 100 seconds

Heatmap shows distribution of
static coords in history articles
   Many Wikipedia articles are tagged with geographic coordinates. Many have references to historic events. Cross referencing these two subsets and plotting them year on year adds up to a dynamic visualization of Wikipedia's view of world history.

Produced by: Gareth Lloyd and Tom Martin

Bongwong Suh, Ed Chi e.a.: WikiDashboard

   WikiDashboard provides a compact graphical rendition of the edit history of a Wikipedia page: which users did contribute most, and when (example). And also on the edit history of one single user. Which articles did he/she update most often, and when (example).

Paper produced by: Bongwon Suh, Ed H. Chi, Bryan A. Pendleton, Aniket Kittur at Palo Alto Research Center

Bongwong Suh, Ed Chi e.a.: RevertGraph

   Revert Graph seeks to analyze and visualize overall conflict patterns between groups of users on Wikipedia. It enables rapid interactive exploration of those relationships via detailed drilldowns. The model relies on users’ editing history and the relationships between user edits, especially revisions that void previous edits, known as “reverts”. Use cases presented are opinion groups, mediation groups, vandalism fighters, and single controversial editors.

Paper produced by: Bongwon Suh, Ed H. Chi, Bryan A. Pendleton, Aniket Kittur at Palo Alto Research Center

TraceMedia Terra Incognita

   Terra Incognita visualises how Wikipedia has evolved over the last decade, mapping the geographic articles for over 50 languages. The maps highlight cultural biases, unexpected areas of focus, the overlaps between languages, and regions that are unique to a language.

There are two versions of the project, one based on Google Maps that is better for browsing Wikipedia articles at the level of countries and regions, the other based on Kartograph that shows how the articles are structured using a variety of world map projections.

Gavin Baily, Jonathan Mackenzie and Sarah Bagshaw (TraceMedia) with Mark Graham and Bernie Hogan (Oxford Internet Institute:)

Triposo Global Article Growth

What if you would sort all geo-tagged articles in the English Wikipedia by their id, and then plot them in that order on a world map? A movie shows how Wikipedia has spread over the planet since the start of the Wikipedia project.   

Triposo Team

Müller-Birn, Benedix and Hantke Pediameter

   A live visualization of Wikipedia Edits

Lecturer: Claudia Müller-Birn
Production: Lukas Benedix und Jens Hantke

Jen Lowe A Thousand Fibers Connect Us

   Winner of WikiViz 2011 visualization contest

This is a tool for exploring the global connections between Wikipedia's pages and its users. The visualization represents 246 languages, 212 locations, and 1190 connections. Countries and languages can each be sorted in a number of ways, and all data represented is available via hover over. Regions can be highlighted, as well as countries with surprisingly high usage and low internet access, or surprisingly low usage and high internet access. Built with Processing and R.

Author: Jen Lowe at Data Telling

Erik Zachte: Animated Growth of Wikimedia Projects

2002: Spanish Wikipedia 'forks', rebirth follows.
   Animation shows how wikis grow over the years.

X axis shows age of wiki. Y axis shows number of articles. Radius of circles shows number of editors. Color shows average size of articles.

Animation requires pretty recent browser (html5 canvas). Here is prerecorded flash version.

Author: Erik Zachte (2008) - Web Site

Erik Zachte: Wikipedia Edits on a Random Day

2002: Spanish Wikipedia 'forks', rebirth follows.
   Animation shows how approx. 400,000 daily edits on all Wikipedia's combined are spread over the globe, over the day and over the different language projects. Heat maps and bubble maps give a more concise overview over the data.

Animation requires pretty recent browser (html5 canvas).

Author: Erik Zachte (2011) - Web Site

Erik Zachte - Wikimedia Data Analyst
Mail:ezachte@# (# =
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