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.

Links:
Chronozoom, http://www.chronozoomproject.org
Prezi, http://www.prezi.com
The economist article, Prophets of Zoom: http://www.economist.com/node/21556097
Gunther on Zuis: http://florianguenther.com/zui/

1 comment:

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