Visualizing Knowledge Along Semantic and Geographic Dimensions: A Web Intelligence Platform to Explore Climate Change Coverage

  • Arno Scharl
  • Alexander Hubmann-Haidvogel
  • Walter Rafelsberger
  • Albert Weichselbraun
  • Heinz-Peter Lang
  • Marta Sabou
Part of the Advanced Information and Knowledge Processing book series (AI&KP)


This chapter presents the Media Watch on Climate Change, a publicly available Web intelligence portal that collects, aggregates and visualizes large archives of digital content from multiple stakeholder groups (documents and user comments from news media, blogs, user-generated content from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, corporate and NGO Web sites, and a range of other sources). An visual dashboard with trend charts and complex map projections not only shows how often and where environmental information is published, but also provides a real-time account of concepts that stakeholders associate with climate change. Positive or negative sentiment is computed automatically, which sheds light on the impact of education and public outreach campaigns that target environmental literacy, and helps to gain a better understanding of how others perceive climate-related issues.


Information Space Semantic Technology Public Outreach Ontology Graph Information Landscape 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This chapter represents an extended and updated version of earlier work presented at the 46th Hawaii International Conference on Systems Sciences (Scharl et al. 2013b). New components of the Media Watch on Climate Change including a tool for the concurrent editing of documents are developed as part of the DecarboNet Project (, which receives funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 610829. The authors wish to thank the researchers involved in conceptualizing, developing and evaluating these components: tag cloud (M. Foels); information landscape (S. Ahmad, V. Sabol and M. Kroell); keyword graph (T. Schäfer; A. Brasoveanu); ontology graph (G. Wohlgenannt, S. Belk); eye tracking survey (T. Weinhold); sentiment analysis (S. Gindl).


  1. Adams, B., Phung, D. and Venkatesh, S. (2011). Eventscapes: Visualizing Events Over Times with Emotive Facets. 19th ACM International Conference on Multimedia (MM-2011). Scottsdale, USA: 1477–1480.Google Scholar
  2. Ahlberg, M. (2005). “Integrating Education for Sustainable Development”, Handbook of Sustainability Research. Ed. W.L. Filho. Frankfurt: Peter Lang. 477–504.Google Scholar
  3. Amitay, E., Har’El, N., Sivan, R. and Soffer, A. (2004). “Web-a-Where: Geotagging Web Content”, 27th Annual International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval. Sheffield, UK: ACM Press. 273–280.Google Scholar
  4. Bowman, T. (2008). Summary Report: A Meeting to Assess Public Attitudes about Climate Change. Silver Springs: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communications.Google Scholar
  5. Bowman, T. (2009). “A Turning Point in Climate Change Communication Priorities”, International Journal of Sustainability Communication, 4: 64–77.Google Scholar
  6. Diakopoulos, N., Naaman, M. and Kivran-Swaine, F. (2010). Diamonds in the Rough: Social Media Visual Analytics for Journalistic Inquiry. IEEE Symposium on Visual Analytics Science and Technology (VAST-2010). Salt Lake City, USA: IEEE: 115–122.Google Scholar
  7. Doering, D.S., Cassara, A., et al. (2002). Tomorrow’s Markets – Global Trends and Their Implications for Business. Washington: World Resources Institute.Google Scholar
  8. Dumas, J.S. and Redish, J.C. (1999). A Practical Guide to Usability Testing (Revised Edition ed). Exeter: Intellect.Google Scholar
  9. Dzida, W., Herda, S. and Itzfeldt, W.D. (1978). “User-Perceived Quality of Interactive Systems”, IEEE Transactions of Software Engineering, SE-4(4): 270–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Foti, J., Silva, L.d., et al. (2008). Voice and Choice: Opening the Door to Environmental Democracy. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute.Google Scholar
  11. Garrett, J.J. (2011). The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web and Beyond (2nd ed). Berkeley: Pearson.Google Scholar
  12. Held, S., Lauvergeon, A. and Reiten, E. (2007). Policy Directions to 2050 – A Business Contribution to the Dialogues on Cooperative Action (Energy & Climate Focus Area). Geneva: World Business Council for Sustainable Development.Google Scholar
  13. Hubmann-Haidvogel, A., Scharl, A. and Weichselbraun, A. (2009). “Multiple Coordinated Views for Searching and Navigating Web Content Repositories”, Information Sciences, 179(12): 1813–1821.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kassas, M. (2002). “Environmental Education: Biodiversity”, The Environmentalist, 22(4): 345–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Keohane, R.O. and Nye, J.S. (1998). “Power and Interdependence in the Information Age”, Foreign Affairs, 77(5): 81–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Krishnan, M., Bohn, S., et al. (2007). “Scalable Visual Analytics of Massive Textual Datasets”, 21st IEEE International Parallel & Distributed Processing Symposium. Long Beach, USA: IEEE Computer Society.Google Scholar
  17. Marcus, A., Bernstein, M.S., et al. (2011). Twitinfo: Aggregating and Visualizing Microblogs for Event Exploration. 2011 Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI-11). Vancouver, Canada: ACM: 227–236.Google Scholar
  18. Meppem, T. and Bourke, S. (1999). “Different Ways of Knowing: A Communicative Turn Toward Sustainability”, Ecological Economics, 30(3): 389–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Nielsen, J. (1997). “Heuristic Evaluation”, Usability Inspection Methods. Eds. J. Nielsen and R. Mack. New York: Wiley & Sons. 25–62.Google Scholar
  20. Oepen, M. (2000). “Environmental Communication in a Context”, Communicating the Environment. Eds. M. Oepen and W. Hamacher. Frankfurt: Peter Lang. 41–61.Google Scholar
  21. Rose, O.H. and Bridgewater, P. (2003). “New Approaches Needed to Environmental Education and Public Awareness”, Prospects, 33(3): 263–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Sabol, V. and Scharl, A. (2008). “Visualizing Temporal-Semantic Relations in Dynamic Information Landscapes”, 11th International Conference on Geographic Information Science (AGILE-2008). Girona, Spain: AGILE Council.Google Scholar
  23. Scharl, A. (2000). Evolutionary Web Development. London: Springer.
  24. Scharl, A. (2007). “Towards the Geospatial Web: Media Platforms for Managing Geotagged Knowledge Repositories”, The Geospatial Web – How Geobrowsers, Social Software and the Web 2.0 are Shaping the Network Society. Eds. A. Scharl and K. Tochtermann. London: Springer. 3–14.
  25. Scharl, A., Hubmann-Haidvogel, A., et al. (2013a). “From Web Intelligence to Knowledge Co-Creation – A Platform to Analyze and Support Stakeholder Communication”, IEEE Internet Computing, 17(5): 21–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Scharl, A., Hubmann-Haidvogel, A., et al. (2013b). Media Watch on Climate Change – Visual Analytics for Aggregating and Managing Environmental Knowledge from Online Sources. 46th Hawaii International Conference on Systems Sciences (HICSS-46). R.H. Sprague. Maui, USA: IEEE Press: 955–964.Google Scholar
  27. Shamma, D.A., Kennedy, L. and Churchill, E.F. (2010). Tweetgeist: Can the Twitter Timeline Reveal the Structure of Broadcast Events? ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW-2010). Savannah, USA.Google Scholar
  28. Shneiderman, B. (1997). “Designing Information-abundant Web Sites: Issues and Recommendations”, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 47(1): 5–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Syed, K.A.A., Kröll, M., et al. (2012). “Incremental and Scalable Computation of Dynamic Topography Information Landscapes”, Journal of Multimedia Processing and Technologies, 3(1): 49–65.Google Scholar
  30. Waitelonis, J., Ludwig, N., Knuth, M. and Sack, H. (2011). “WhoKnows? – Evaluating Linked Data Heuristics with a Quiz that Cleans Up DBpedia”, International Journal of Interactive Technology and Smart Education, 8(4): 236–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Wallace, M.G., Cortner, H.J., Moote, M.A. and Burke, S. (1996). “Moving Toward Ecosystem Management: Examining a Change in Philosophy for Resource Management”, Journal of Political Ecology, 3: 18–32.Google Scholar
  32. Weichselbraun, A., Wohlgenannt, G. and Scharl, A. (2010). “Refining Non-Taxonomic Relation Labels with External Structured Data to Support Ontology Learning”, Data & Knowledge Engineering, 69(8): 763–778.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Wilson, K.M. (2000). “Communicating Climate Change through the Media – Predictions, Politics and Perceptions of Risk”, Environmental Risks and the Media. Eds. S. Allan et al. London, New York: Routledge. 201–217.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arno Scharl
    • 1
  • Alexander Hubmann-Haidvogel
    • 1
  • Walter Rafelsberger
    • 1
  • Albert Weichselbraun
    • 2
  • Heinz-Peter Lang
    • 1
  • Marta Sabou
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of New Media TechnologyMODUL University ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.Swiss Institute for Information ResearchUniversity of Applied Sciences ChurChurSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations