Saturday, March 28, 2009

EyePlorer - Visualize Wikipedia and Collect Notes

EyePlorer is an interesting use of Wikipedia that I learned about from Paul Hamilton's excellent blog. EyePlorer is a reference search engine that takes your original search term then displays related terms in a circle around your original search term. Clicking on each related term reveals more information from Wikipedia about that term. If the information is something that you want to save for later use, you can drag the information onto your EyePlorer notebook. The screen capture below is from my EyePlorer search using the term "fishing."

Applications for Education
EyePlorer is a great way for students to see the importance of refining search terms. A broad topic will crowd the EyePlorer circle with related topics. A more specific search term will yield fewer related topic links. If a student is struggling to narrow a research topic, EyePlorer provides suggestions in the form of related topics. The EyePlorer notebook makes it easy for students to keep a record of the information they've found.

When you first visit EyePlorer you may notice that the sidebar comments are in German (at least I think it's German), but don't be turned away, the site functions completely in English.

Here are some related Wikipedia mashups that may be of interest to you:
Visual Wikipedia

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