Opinion Space: Crowdsourcing Insights at the U.S. State Department

Opinion Space, developed jointly by the U.S. Department of State and the University of California at Berkeley’s Center for New Media (BCNM), is accessible to anyone around the world. Visitors to the website share their perspectives and ideas on U.S. foreign policy in an innovative visual “opinion map” that will illustrate where each user’s opinions stand in relation to others, which ideas result in the most discussion, and which ideas are judged most insightful by the community of participants. Every participant chooses a “point of view” on a global opinion map. The position is not based on geography or predetermined categories, but on proximity of opinion.  In addition to allowing users to explore the whole range of opinions on a variety of subjects, Opinion Space also aims to employ the wisdom of crowds to highlight particularly insightful ideas.  The most popular and insightful ideas emerging from the visualization program will be brought to the attention of the U.S. Secretary of State.