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October 10, 2013 / carlispina

See the “Genealogy” of Citations with Citeology

In my previous post, I discussed Cite-Fight, a new application created using the new CanLII API. In advance of the hackathon where Cite-Fight was created, CanLII released a dynamic visualization of the connections between over 9,000 Canadian Supreme Court cases that was created by Autodesk Research using this API. While this tool was merely intended as an example of what can be done with the CanLII API, it is also an interesting way of studying the connections that exist between court cases.

This Citeology visualization (which requires that Java be enabled in your browser) shows the names of all 9,101 Supreme Court cases that are included in the visualization in small print and arranged by year. Users can navigate between cases by hovering over a point on the visualization to see a case name and then clicking on the name or by using the search box in the upper left hand corner. Once a case has been clicked on, you will see blue lines from cases that the selected case cited and red lines to the cases that in turn cited it. You can select the number of “generations” that are included, meaning that you can see longer relationships between series of cases over time.

CanLII Citeology

Citeology is another fun example of how you can use an API to create an interesting data visualization project. For those who aren’t particularly interested in Canadian Supreme Court cases, Autodesk Research has also created other similar Citeology visualizations of other data, which are available on their website. They are definitely worth a look for those interested in data visualization projects. See how Citeology in the video below:


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