Wikipedia 3D Explorer and Social Networking

I just read about the Wikipedia 3D Explorer over at Dan’s blog. It’s sweet and the type of visualization I want us to be able to do for social networks for science. It’s built on WPF and I think it’s another example of how content on the Web can break free from the Web browser abstraction. Like Dan, I particularly liked the ‘network’ mode.

Some time ago I suggested that I was working on some ideas related to microformats and social networking and that I was going to experiment with those ideas via my own blog. That part is still coming but most of those ideas have further evolved and I am now pushing them within Microsoft as part of my new role. The term ‘overlay webs’ has been replaced by the term ‘knowledge mashups’ :-) but the concepts are similar: the use of microformats to capture and combine knowledge in a distributed fashion and the use of the Web as the world’s distributed knowledge (rather than just information) network.

Here are a couple of screenshots from the Wikipedia 3D Explorer.

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