Opinion Space [state.gov] is a innovative online tool that uses data visualization and statistical analysis to provide all participants with an equal opportunity to have their opinions heard and to vote on the ideas of others in the context of US foreign policy. Developed by a collaboration between U.S. Department of State and the Center for New Media at UC Berkeley, a shared opinion-based visualization is created based on the personal ratings of 5 different questions.
Every participant represents a "point of view" on a visual opinion map, which does not correspond to the usual left-right linear spectrum, but should be solely interpreted by the relative distances between individual points. This map is not based on geography or predetermined categories, but on similarity of opinions: those who agree on basic issues are neighbors, and those who are far apart have agreed to disagree. The map is designed to 'depolarize' discussions by including all participants on a level playing field.
The size of a point is a function of the Author Score for the corresponding comment. In general, larger points have been rated more insightful than smaller points.