Irrational Exuberance!

Visualizing Keyterms with BOSS and Processing

February 4, 2009. Filed under bossprocessing

Last night I decided to start playing around with Processing again, and this morning spent a few hours putting together this visualization. It begins with the term reality and then grabs search results from Yahoo! BOSS. It combines the keyterms for all the results and displays them (more popular terms are larger and with higher contrast). A few seconds later it randomly picks a word from the results and then displays those results and so on.

Here are a couple of representative screenshots (although in the actual app they are sequential in time, rather than sequential in a line). First for the search query Contest,

Processing visualization of BOSS results for "Content"

and next for the search query "holders".

Processing visualization of BOSS results for "Holders"

For a better feel of it in motion, here is a video of the visualization in action. (You'll note that it will occasionally skip displaying keyterms for a query, the code for retrieving the data is pretty fragile at this point.)


You can grab the OSX, Linux, or Windows versions for download. Most browsers seem to disprove of self-signed applets, so this is the simplest of distributing it at this point in time.

I'll release and discuss the source code later today or tomorrow. Let me know if you have any questions or other feedback.