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The next big advance in information use/management will be visualization. Abundance requires new methods (i.e. Anderson’s “more is different” view). We can’t manage information abundance through traditional methods of interaction. I’ve suggested previously that networks serve a wayfinding and sensemaking role. Technology is another key component. Visualization can help to reveal connections not readily evident. IBM’s Many Eyes is one of the leading sites in this regard…and they have released a new visualization type – Phrase Net. A phrase net is different from typical word clouds (which usually display word frequency by increased size – i.e. the more often a word occurs, the larger it is). A phrase net “diagrams the relationships between different words”.

I decided to throw our handbook of emerging technologies into the site to see visualizations. The image is below, but if you’d like to dynamically interact with the visualization, it’s available here.