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New York Times: GraphMaker


These images were generated using Jer Thorps’s New York Times GraphMaker. Using his script in Processing, I was able to tap into the New York Times Article Search API for my research. The GraphMaker not only shorten the amount of time needed to build a database necessary for data visualization but also gave me access to New York Times already prolific archives encompassing all aspects of information from entertainment to politics.

Please visit his post here if you are interested in tapping into to this goldmine of information:

Initial Process:

Using the New York Times Article Search, I had wanted to do a correlation mapping of a survey sent out to my personal contact lists to regarding issues that affects the community. My initial thoughts was a comparison between issues that people though affect the LGBT community directly and issues that were reported in the media. Of course the limitation of this cross-examination would be dependent on the quantitative limitation of my field. Within the numerous survey sent out, I was able to capture the opinions of 50 participants. Although limited, I felt that it was sufficient to apply to my investigation involving  issues that the LGBT communities faces. (Note: My initial thought was to survey only persons of the LGBT communities but expanded to involve everyone as it will give me a clearer picture regarding perception of the LGBT community.)

After a quick tabulation of the survey, I’ve used the top four issues as my key words for the New York Times article search. (A few of the issues were condense to make the data more managable.)

Top Four Issues:

Gay Rights (including gay marriage)



Awareness (changed to Pride Parade for my search)

While the search suggest that the media generally populate the new and tabloid with these issues, it was surprising to me that there were very few instances that homophobia was mention in their articles. If you look closely at the graph, you have to look really really close to see the small yellow star-burst  in the center that represents the number of occurrence homophobia is mention in these article. While I could have changes my key words to gay hate crimes (which does register far more occurrence then homophobia), it makes me think twice about the usage of certain words in the public space. Another quick in the systems is the occurrence of HIV. For the early part of the 1980s, you have to search gay cancer to find any mention of HIV. One quirk of the system is the linguistic aspect of your search based on the time factor. I find it amazing how certain words we used to define certain things today was not in existence three decades ago.

As part of an ongoing process to capture and archive information, I’ve attached the following survey in the polls below. Please find a moment to answer them to help build a living archive  for my research.


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This entry was posted on May 6, 2012 by and tagged , , .
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