Data tells a thousand stories
The Ripple Mapping Tool collects and visualizes the outcomes of an event or program. It uses Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning to collect participant stories and draw connections between the people, places, and things within those stories. The resulting story graphs are presented through a responsive visual interface that reveals how one thing leads to another.
The information that the story graphs reveal is useful to three primary groups:
- Organizers (of events, programs, conferences, etc.): it helps them understand what types of conditions yield the richest connections and interactions, which in turn will generate the most lasting outcomes
- Participants: it shows them what opportunities for continued engagement grew out of an initial experience that they had – for example, someone who attends a conference learns through the Ripple Mapping Tool that a new fellowship program grew out of one of the workshops they attended and they decide to apply for that fellowship.
- Funders: it demonstrates the exponential impact of a single grant or award and provides more nuanced, longitudinal metrics for understanding how change happens.
With the support of a 2015 Knight Prototype grant we have completed two major iterations of the tool.
We participated in the 2015 Creative Solutions Symposium, where we uncovered new use cases for the tool.
Successful user testing sessions have provided solid direction on the user interface for the next iteration of the prototype. With the support of a grant from the Mozilla Foundation, we will be completing a third major iteration, as well as building consent into the tool to better protect communities whose information appears on the map.