How to access the Enron data painlessly


Yesterday I gave an overview of the Enron email corpus, but since then I’ve discovered a lot more resources. A whole academic ecosystem has grown up around it, and it’s led me to some really interesting research projects. Even better, the raw data has been put up online in several easy to use formats.

The best place to start is William Cohen’s page, which has a direct download link for the text of the messages in a tar, as well as a brief history of the data and links to some of the projects using it. Another great resource is a mysql database containing a cleaned-up version of the complete set, which could be very handy for a web-based demo.

Berkeley has done a lot of interesting work using the emails. Enronic is an email graph viewer, similar in concept to Outlook Graph but with a lot of interesting search and timeline view features. Jeffrey Heer’s produced a lot of other interesting visualization work too. He’s produced several toolkits, and some compelling work on collaborating through visualization, like the demographic viewer and annotator.

Equally interesting was this paper on automatically categorizing emails based on their content, comparing some of the popular techniques with the categorization reflected in the email folders that the recipients had used to organize them. Ron Bekkerman has some other interesting papers too, like this one on building a social network from a user’s mailbox, and then expanding it by locating the member’s home pages on the web.

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