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metaViz*

Many individuals now use new media as their primary source of information. One such medium is political blogs (weblogs), which contain political news and commentary, often with a distinct personal voice and readily apparent political affiliation or ideology. 

Conceptual metaphors are often used to describe different situations. For example, saying that candidates "attacked" each other highlights the adversarial way in which one candidate must defeat another. However, an alternate conceptual metaphor would be framing an election as an artistic performance, with the goal not of destroying one's opponent but rather demonstrating superior skill and technique at a set of difficult tasks.

This project employs computational techniques to identify such conceptual metaphors in political blogs. The main focus is the development and evaluation of a tool that readers can use to examine conceptual metaphors in the political blogs they read. As the user reads, the tool will indicate potential metaphors, highlighting words in the text that instantiate those metaphors. 

There is also be a web application allowing users to explore computationally identified metaphors in a number of different datasets, including various blogging communities and political speeches. The goal of these tools is to encourage users to think about what a given metaphor highlights, what it hides, and what other metaphor might highlight different aspects of the same situation.