KnowledgeWeb is amazing! It's a project by James Burke, author of the famous Connections TV series. The goal of the project is "mapping the accomplishments of the past and the possibilities of the future". It will map virtually and visually the most important advances, technological developments, turning points, people and places in human history (and in its future too), connect them and make the final result explorable in an easy and fun way.
This is planned as an educational tool, but it can also be used for thinking (about future and present).
The project includes a variety of visualisation options. One is a virtual Earth (not unlike the Google Earth judging from the videos) where you can located the events. Another is a multi-dimensional (3, to be exact) model of time visualisation - time periods as nested spheres with all the links between events, people and advances visible. Navigation in any direction is possible and users will even be able to generate, save and share Connection-like history programs using their own sequence of connected stories (bread crumbs). Alternatively one can use old-fashioned hyperlinks to explore the database of content.
By presenting the knowledge in a highly interconnected, holistic way it becomes possible to follow an almost infinite number of paths of exploration among people, places, things, and events.
- A video showing some of the software (how much of it is ready is not clear) is here: rtsp://www2.humlab.umu.se:7070/kweb/kweb.rm (streaming RealVideo).
- More details about the project is here: http://www.k-web.org/details/index.html
The part of the project related to the future is quite close in purpose to this wiki.
Burke also talkes about the future part in the 10th part of the original Connections series (all parts are available on eDonkey).