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Alex Galloway, Mark Tribe, Martin Wattenberg
Project Description:
When a new text is read for the first time on the website, it appears on StarryNight as a dim star. Each time a text gets read again by any Internet user around the world the corresponding star gets a bit brighter. Over time, the page comes to resemble a starry night sky, with bright stars corresponding to the most popular texts in the database, and dim stars corresponding to less-popular ones.

Dragging the mouse over one of the stars brings up a pop-up list of keywords that the corresponding text shares with other texts. Select a keyword in the pop-up list to draw a constellation linking all the stars that share that keyword.

StarryNight depends on two pieces of original software: a set of Perl scripts that sort texts by keyword and record their individual hits, and a Java applet that filters this information to draw stars and constellations.

Technology used: Perl and Java
Number of stars: 2000
Age of oldest star: February 5th, 1996
New stars added: 5 per week

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