Yahoo’s New Visualization Beautifully Shows What’s Happening on the Web

Yahoo has launched a new webpage that visualizes what’s happening on the web in near real time — and it’s totally beautiful.

The Content Optimization Relevance Engine (C.O.R.E.) HTML5 site hopes to show users the “behind the scenes” process Yahoo uses to match readers with content on their personalized homepage, using technology developed in a Yahoo research lab a few years ago. While Yahoo’s homepage used to be arranged by editors, it now uses an algorithm to match individual user preferences.

“We can provide users with insights through the lens of the 700 million users that come to our site each month,” Todd Beaupre, Yahoo’s senior director of product management, personalization and social platforms, told Mashable.

The interactive site optimizes content discovery, showing you what’s popular for a variety of user demographics, such as U.S. city, gender, age and interest (news, finance, lifestyle, Yahoo’s entertainment, sports and health). You can also chose a number of these characteristics at once, such as female sports fans in Cleveland or 35- to 44-year-olds in Atlanta.

As far as utility goes, you can think of the site as a tool to provide similar insight to Twitter trending topics or Google trends.

“We’ll see that we put out a sports story, but the human interest angle means that it’s being clicked on by women, more so than men interested in sports,” Beaupre says, noting that Yahoo delivers about 13 million content combinations each day to visitors to its homepage. “We bulit this because we can’t always predict accurately what people are going to click on.”

The C.O.R.E. visualizer features Yahoo’s original content as well as content written by Yahoo’s partners.

For some additional insight, you can click on the “i” logo on the bottom of the site to reveal five HTML5 interactive infographics, which attempt to put the scope of Yahoo’s data into perspective.

Yahoo previously launched a similar tool Mail Visualization that shows emails as they are delivered across the world. You can watch emails delivered across the globe, visualized through circles corresponding the mass of mail delivered. Yahoo says it has two more data visualization projects up its sleeves.

What do you think of Yahoo’s visualization? What insight do you find most useful from its real-time trends? Let us know in the comments.

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