Professor Colin Starger has announced the launch of a new online Supreme Court citation network tool, a web-based version of the mapping software he has been developing for several years. The new tool allows users — anyone with access to the Internet — to map their own “lines” of Supreme Court cases and to share their insights with others.
Starger’s is the first data analysis tool that allows legal researchers to isolate and visualize lines of Supreme Court cases. Users select two Court cases they want to connect and the software calculates and displays the citation relationships that join them.
Says Starger, “It’s like a SCOTUS version of six degrees of Kevin Bacon.” (Those unfamiliar with the parlor game should click here.)
Also new: From their maps, users can instantly access the Supreme Court Database (Spaeth).
User-created maps may be embedded in websites and blogs, allowing legal professionals, professors and researchers to share their work easily with others.
Built in collaboration with the Free Law Project, the new website was supported by a grant from the University of Baltimore’s Fund for Excellence.
Anyone may use the website without charge, but users will need to create a username and password to create maps of their own. The code is open-source.
For more information, see these resources prepared by Professor Starger:
- A revamped homepage for the SCOTUS Mapping Project and a revamped Libguides Library.
- A blog post that demonstrates the new tool by looking at Justice Antonin Scalia’s 4th Amendment jurisprudence.
- A sortable collection of every case decided by the Court in its 2014 Term, with a map for each case as well as links to SCOTUSBlog entries.