How Knowledge Map appears on a story.

Today, The Post began testing a new feature called Knowledge Map, which can be seen in “Why the Islamic State leaves tech companies torn between free speech and security”. Knowledge Map gives readers an easier way to catch up on ongoing stories by quickly and seamlessly providing relevant background, additional information or answers to frequently asked questions, when the reader wants it.

“We wanted to experiment with providing background information as a user reads a story to help bring context to a complicated topic, and we designed Knowledge Map to work in a way that would not interrupt the reading experience,” said Sarah Sampsel, director of digital strategy at The Post. “Knowledge Map makes reading the news a more personalized experience, giving readers access to additional information as they need or want it.”

As readers will see in today’s story, Knowledge Map appears as a series of highlighted links embedded throughout the body of the article. When clicked or tapped, these links instantly surface more information. This additional content offers background and contextual information, as well as related links to other Post content on that subject, allowing users to get up to speed quickly, or dive deeper into a subject.

“We’re excited to see how readers react to Knowledge Map,” said Dr. Sam Han (PhD), Engineering Director for Data Science at The Post. “This iteration sets us up to use data mining techniques to identify and surface contextual content for our readers. We are also working on parallel applications to drive engagement with our native advertising content. Our ultimate goal is to mine big data to surface highly personalized and contextual data for both journalistic and native content. We continue to push the technical boundaries of applied Data Science at The Washington Post.”

See Knowledge Map in action.