Monday, January 25, 2016

The Top 10,000 Academic Texts

The Open Syllabus Explorer is an interactive map of the top 10,000 texts used in academic syllabi. It shows the most used texts in different university subject areas based on an analysis of over one million syllabi collected from university websites.

The map consists of 10,000 texts subdivided into academic subject categories. I think the size of each text's circle on the map is related to its ‘Teaching Score’ - "a numerical indicator based on the frequency with which a particular text is taught". The placement of each text on the map is presumably based on the academic subjects in which the texts were mentioned in the analysed syllabi.

The map itself is basically a static image made interactive by creating map tiles from the image and then using the Leaflet.js mapping library to create an interactive map from the image.

The map uses the Leaflet-Hash plug-in, this means it is possible to zoom in on an area on the map and cut & paste the URL to share a link to the current map view. A useful next step in the map's development might be to create a custom search feature, to allow users to search the map by the name of a text. This could be achieved using the Leaflet-Search plug-in.

You can learn more about the project on the Open Syllabus Project's website.

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