Monday, July 05, 2004

TouchGraph GoogleBrowser

Although I have the distinct feeling that I've blogged about this tool before on my other blog, I don't see any harm in mentioning it here again. Information visualization constitutes the single most neglected aspect of information retrieval as far as I'm concerned, and as amusing a toy as the TouchGraph GoogleBrowser may be, it is possible to do far, far better; for example, one can look at Tamara Munzner's old Hyperbolic Viewer approach as one possible avenue of improvement.

If there's one aspect of Longhorn that I think worth getting excited about, it isn't so much what WinFS will make possible, as what the easy availability of 3D graphics primitives without going through the DirectX or OpenGL APIs will do for information visualization tools. Couple the arrival of a much more approachable 3D API with the relentless pace at which the demands of the gaming market has made ubiquitous ever more capable 3D graphics cards, and for the first time it looks as if all those advanced 3D interfaces cooked up ages ago, like Xerox PARC's Information Visualizer*, will finally be feasible on the average desktop. Humans, being primates, are largely visual creatures, and it strikes me as absurd that so little use has been made of this commonplace observation.

*More information is available to ACM Digital Library subscribers in a paper which can be downloaded from this link.

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June 11, 2006 at 1:34 AM  

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