As part of my work to reveal exactly how the MARC standard has been used over the several decades it has existed (available at “MARC Usage in WorldCat”), I’ve always wanted to produce visualizations of the data. Recently, with essential help from my colleagues JD Shipengrover and Jeremy Browning, I was able to do exactly that.
After trying various graphical depictions of the data, we finally settled on an interactive “starburst” view of the data. The initial view provides a high-level summary of how often various tags have been used within particular formats. The interactive part allows you to “drill down” a level into a more detailed view.
We are providing two views of the data: from the point of view of the formats being described (that is, the top-level is comprised of the various formats — books, journals, etc.), and from the point of view of the tags (that is, the top-level is comprised of the various MARC tags).
If you have any ideas about a visualization you would like to see, let me know.
Roy Tennant works on projects related to improving the technological infrastructure of libraries, museums, and archives.