Visualization of the Week: Visualizing the Library Catalog

WorldCat has a new visualization tool to show relationships between objects in the catalog

WorldCat, the world’s largest library catalog, has launched a new interactive tool that lets users visually explore the catalog, specifically the relationships between WorldCat “Identities.” A WorldCat Identity can be a person (an author or a fictional or non-fictional character, for example), a thing (an animal or a boat, for example), or a corporation.

<img src="http://radar.oreilly.com/WorldCat_.jpg" border="0" width="575" style="margin-bottom: 15px;"
A screenshot from the WorldCat Identity Network. Click to visit the full interactive version.

The WorldCat Identity Network uses the WorldCat Search API and the WorldCat Identities Web Service to create an interactive map.

Using these Identity Maps, users will be able to see how these subject-based identities are interconnected. For example, they could see relationships between authors and their characters, but also relationships between authors and between subjects. Below each Identity Map, the tool also gives a list of relevant titles found in WorldCat.

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This post is part of an ongoing series exploring visualizations. We’re always looking for leads, so please drop us a line if there’s a visualization you think we should know about.

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