CableWeaving workshop - talking points and links

CableGate and other journalistic treasures

The "CableGate" leak is a library of 250,000 US diplomatic cables, 2003-2010
For comparison, the "Kissinger library" contains 1.7 million declassified documents
Other libraries
Analysis tools for journalists (general purpose and library-specific) -
Lots of processing was done specifically on CableGate -

Why CableGate is the most researched library

How does a cable look like?

"First generation": Cable2Graph

CableGate analysis using graph theory methods.
Cables refer to each other: e.g.
@datapornstar decided to refer to the entire CableGate library as a huge graph where:

Operations cable2graph performs

Can also perform other operations (e.g. neighbourhood graphs, TAGS), but it's out of the scope of this talk.

The Graph drawing problem (2D layout)

CableWeaver was created in order to address these problems.

CableWeaver - browser-side semi-manual graph layout

An attempt to make cable2graph findings more accessible to journalists and other non-technical researchers

Layout is computed on the browser.


Basic user interaction

The first two operations can also be done from the timeline on the left

3 steps:

  1. Search for graphs by MRNs - (Message Reference Numbers, e.g. 08JAKARTA659): you can search for cables at PlusD or other cablegate search engines.
    E.g. a search for cables from Israel containing wataniya returns 34 results
  2. Select a graph
  3. Examine graph

Additional functionality

CableWeaving - sample story line repository

Let the audience choose story lines to display

How to collaborate on a story

How to work on you scoop in secrecy

Install CableWeaver on your computer (avoid snooping):

Known problems