I’ve been hearing about Wolfram Alpha a lot lately, and I finally got a chance to watch a demo screencast today, and I have to say, it looks really cool. It’s a combination of a search engine, a set of computational widgets, and a large, curated knowledge base. Exactly the kind of thing we need for playing with climate datasets, and giving a larger audience a glimpse into how climate science is done. The only thing I can see missing (and maybe it’s there, and I just didn’t look hard enough) is the idea of a narrative thread – I want to be able to create a narrated trail through a set of computational widgets to tell a story about how we build up a particular scientific conclusion from a multitude of sources of evidence…

[Update 19 May 2010: They've added some climate datasets to Wolfram Alpha]

Climate Kids
There's now an app for that, too

1 Comment

  1. …a narrated trail through a set of computational widgets to tell a story about how we build up a particular scientific conclusion from a multitude of sources of evidence‚Ķ

    Sort of like a credibility-building open notebook.

    Some people think Latex isn’t very user-friendly, but it actually has all of the things you need. You can make nice little hyper-linked documents with well-coupled prose, graphics, equations, code snippets and references to further reading for those so inclined. Maybe it’s not interactive enough for the audience you are targeting?

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