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ABOUT FRANKENPLACE

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Frankenplace is an interactive thematic map search engine that uses geographic context as a means to discover, organize, and interactively visualize the documents related to a search query.

Cartographers have known for centuries the power of organizing thematic information by geographic context and visualizing it on a map. A thematic map allows you to understand the spatial dynamics of a topic within a structure that has strong reference points in human experience -- myriad places and regions around the world. At the same time a thematic map can show us important relationships between these places because they are similar or differ with respect to some property of interest.

But Frankenplace is not only a thematic mapping tool. It is also an ad hoc search site designed to help users find relevant documents that match a query. By visualizing the interaction between the thematic and geographic content of documents, users can use the map interface to quickly explore through hundreds or thousands documents that match their query while bringing their background knowledge about geography to bear on their interpretion of the results. Likewise, unexpected patterns that arise on the map provide opportunities to learn new things about how a topic of interest relates to places.

The current version of Frankenplace (May 2015) indexes over 5 million articles from the English version of Wikipedia and online travel blog entries. In the coming months we plan to add additional layers and functionality that will allow users to upload, share and explore their own data. Please keep an eye out for new functionality. If you would like to sign up for news on major updates please enter your email address below.

If you use or want to refer to Frankenplace in an academic paper, please cite the following paper:

B. Adams, G. McKenzie, and M. Gahegan (2015) Frankenplace: Interactive Thematic Mapping for Ad Hoc Exploratory Searching. 24th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW 2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2736277.2741137

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DENIZENS OF OUR LABORATORY

Ben Adams

(Dr. Frankenplace)

Designer, developer, and mad scientist

Email

Research page

@darwinzero

Grant McKenzie

(Igor)

UI Designer, pointless ranting

Email

Research page

@grantdmckenzie