Visualizing Senator Paul's Filibuster

By Raffaela Wakeman
Friday, March 8, 2013, 9:56 AM

Transcripts: they're not just for reading anymore. Yesterday, when I posted the transcript of Kentucky Senator Rand Paul's 13-hour filibuster of John Brennan's nomination as CIA Director, I assumed that our readers would appreciate reading what the senator and his colleagues actually said.  George Mason University's Rajendra Kulkarni, however, chose to do something far less snooze-worthy and much more visually appealing: graphic visualizations of the words in the transcript. (Click on the individual images to see full-size versions of them.)

First, a word cloud (generated by IBM's Many Eyes cloud computing website):


Next up: a cluster density map:


And finally, a network map, connecting all the words in the transcript together:


The Cluster and network views were generated with VosViewer, freeware developed  by a team at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) of Leiden University, formerly from Erasmus Univ (Rotterdam, NL).