A Northwestern University joint initiative of Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications and the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Science. Northwestern University joint initiative of Medill & McCormick School of Engineering.


The Knight Lab develops and deploys innovative technology for all phases of the content pipeline, from creation, to distribution and audience interaction … We focus on getting technology in the hands of journalists. If any of these projects interest you, shoot us a note at [email protected].

Deployed technology

  • TimelineJS

    An open-source tool that enables journalists to build visually-rich interactive timelines quickly and easily.

  • Local Angle

    Finds national stories of local interest.

  • BookRx

    Helps anyone find new books for themselves or others by analyzing Twitter activity.

  • TweetCast

    Obama or Romney? TweetCast predicted which candidate you were likely to vote for in the 2012 U.S. presidential election by analyzing your Twitter activity.

  • Twxray

    Shows you a data visualization of what you tweet about.

Products under development

  • Local Circle

    Easy-to-deploy system that enables syndication of related content among local news sites and bloggers.

  • Refine: Better commenting

    A new model for interaction with news comments that enables clustering by topic and subject drill-down.

  • SoundCite

    SoundCite is a web-based tool that lets writers clip long audio files, such as songs or interviews, into short soundbites and easily embed those into stories.

Prototypes, experiments and demos

  • Hashtagger

    Recommends hashtags to use in Twitter promotion of news stories.

  • PrintF

    A WordPress technology that allows flexible news layouts without coding.

  • Untangld

    A tool for investigative journalists that allows them to easily record and correlate information they find in online data repositories.

  • Campaign Rhetoric Tracker

    Visually depicts rhetoric over the course of a political campaign.

  • Disparity mapper

    A visualization tool for understanding socio-economic disparities among neighborhoods in a city.

  • What’s Here

    A mobile app for helping people find interesting information and people in their current location.

  • Twitter Events

    A system for automatically curating tweets centered around live music events.

  • 7 Sins

    Illustrates the famous list of vices through real-time Twitter conversations.

  • Patchwork Tweet

    Real-time tweets about current top stories paired with relevant images from the social web.

  • Congressional Close-Up

    Presents analysis of possible outside influences on how U.S. Senators vote on bills.

  • MetroVote

    Simple to use system for aggregating news and information about local elections.

  • HamTracker

    Automatically extracts and presents information about congressional earmarks.

  • Tweet / Countertweet

    Creates a back-and-forth dialog between political candidates from their Twitter posts.

  • Calendar-Based News

    News coverage about the people and organizations you’re meeting today based on your calendar.

  • Drive-Thru

    A quick look at the news in a mobile-friendly format.

  • OpenBlock Crystal Lake

    Adaptation of the OpenBlock system for geographically-based local news aggregation to a suburban town.

  • Living Stories

    Automatically builds slideshows based on images and quotes from news stories.

  • Twitter Profiling

    This application helps publishers make personalized content recommendations to readers based on their tweet history.

Archived projects

  • Congressional Primaries

    A set of tools to help voters better understand their choices in Illinois’ 2012 congressional primaries.

  • NATO in Chicago

    The 2012 meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization provided an opportunity for the Lab to showcase technologies that aggregate articles and track trends on Twitter.

  • Babl

    A mobile app that enables users to see what people are saying about specified topics and to share their own topics with others.