New data visualization for SMW: Exhibit and Ploticus


22 Jan 2009. Extension "Semantic Result Formats" (SRF), the add-on package for query formats in Semantic MediaWiki, has just been extended with two great additions for powerful data visualisation: Ploticus and Exhibit. Both are available to first testers from Programmer's guide.

  • Ploticus (by Joel Natividad) is a format for creating diagrams based on the free Ploticus software package. It will provide a powerful alternative to the existing GooglePie and GoogleBar formats (which can only be used when sending all your data to Google). Documentation for Ploticus will be made available at Archive:Ploticus format.
  • Exhibit (by Fabian Howahl) is a format for creating dynamic data views where result sets can be browsed, filtered, and displayed in maps and timelines, based on the Exhibit software by MIT CSAIL. Some first examples are at [1] (try clicking on the criteria on the right) and at [2]. Documentation for Exhibit will be made available at Archive:Exhibit format.

More information on Exhibit is already available on the MIT blog, where there will also be some details on upcoming options for using this across sites (i.e. the data comes from one or more other wikis). Wordpress integration is also planned.

Both new formats are still lacking regular documentation on this site, but this is expected to follow soon. Also, a number of bugs are expected (and partly known). Right now, the formats are only available from Programmer's guide, but the next Extension "Semantic Result Formats" release will surely include them. Remember that non-stable formats need to be explicitly enabled after loading SRF, e.g.:

require_once( 'extensions/SemanticResultFormats/SRF_Settings.php' );
$srfgFormats[] = 'exhibit';

Feedback an bug reports are welcome.