Software evolution research has focused mostly on analyzing the evolution of single software systems. However, it is rarely the case that a project exists as standalone, independent of others. Rather, projects exist in parallel within larger contexts in companies, research groups or even the open-source communities. We call these contexts software ecosystems, and on this paper we present The Small Project Observatory, a prototype tool which aims to support the analysis of project ecosystems through interactive visualization and exploration. We present a case-study of exploring an ecosystem using our tool, we describe about the architecture of the tool, and we distill the lessons learned during the tool-building experience.