Saturday, June 16, 2012

Chronozoom Zooms Billions of Years

Chronozoom is an open source community project dedicated to visualizing Big History. Its zoomable interface is a good application of a ZUI (Zoomable User Interface). The economist writes:

With ZUIs (pronounced zoo-ees), information need not be chopped up to fit on uniformly sized slides. Instead, text, images and even video sit on a single, limitless surface and can be viewed at whatever size makes most sense—up close for details, or zoomed out for the big picture. The presentation software designed by Prezi, a firm based in Budapest, Hungary, is based on this kind of “infinite canvas”, as its founder, Peter Halacsy, calls it. For example, a naturalist delivering a presentation on giraffe habitats can tuck tables on, say, the nutritional qualities of foliage into the leaves of different tree species seen in satellite imagery of a savanna. The data could be left hidden for a talk to schoolchildren, or zoomed in on and revealed for an audience of scientists. Before giving a talk, a presenter can pick waypoints on the canvas to be visited in sequence by pressing a button, with smooth pans, zooms and rotations from one to the next. 
Raskin, SketchHub and Grape are other ZUIs--Florian Gunther maintains a good list of them here.

Chronozoom is funded and supported by Microsoft Research Connections in collaboration with University California at Berkeley and Moscow State University.

The economist article, Prophets of Zoom:
Gunther on Zuis:

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