Yannick Assogba, Irene Ros, and Matt McKeon, all of the IBM Research Visual Communication Lab, presented DocBlocks: Communication-Minded Visualization of Topics in U.S. Congressional Bills, at CHI 2010: The 28th ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, held 10-15 April 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Here is the abstract:
US Federal legislation is a hot topic for discussion and advocacy on the web. Yet legislative bills present a significant challenge for both experts and average citizens to navigate and understand. To explore solutions to this problem, we have created DocBlocks: a prototype visualization and website that enables users to explore the content of congressional bills and communicate their findings to others. Our technique enables us to take any document from a categorized corpus, classify its sections, and visualize its topic structure. With the launch of this service, we hope to provide a valuable tool for open governance and learn from our users at this critical intersection of visualization, advocacy, social software, and civil society.
DockBlocks appears to be implemented in an application currently called IBM Many Bills: A Visual Bill Explorer.