Information Design Watch

August 12, 2004, 3:40 pm

Update: The Tube as Template

By d/D

We recently came across another example of the London Underground map as design template. In this case it is repurposed as “A subway map of cancer pathways”:

http://www.nature.com/nrc/poster/subpathways/index.html

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Comments (0) | Filed under: Information Design, Maps, Scholarly Publishing

August 12, 2004, 3:37 pm

Information Density and the David Rumsey Map Collection

By d/D

A common problem of digital media is its relatively low information density compared to print publications. Maps can be an especially rich way to present information, but online versions are often reduced to multiple bitmaps of equal simplicity (consider Yahoo Maps or Mapquest, for example).

The David Rumsey Map Collection manages its library of high resolution scans with powerful compression software and the use of the Insight® browser, an Internet application designed specifically for the browsing of images as oppposed to text.
While one might consider alternative presentation methods that fit more seamlessly with standard browsers, the Insight® technology offers an example of a fully customized approach that is worthy of examination.

http://davidrumsey.com/index.html

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Comments (0) | Filed under: Technology, Visual Explanation

August 12, 2004, 3:35 pm

Extracting Data from User Forums

By d/D

Edmunds.com’s user forums contain more than 2.5 million messages and 100,000 car reviews. To extract meaning from this wealth of commentary, questions, and answers, Edmunds.com is analyzing the data with Attensity Corporation’s PowerDrill software. PowerDrill is notable for its use of sentence diagramming to identify the actors, actions and objects in unstructured text:

“[In beta tests] Edmunds.com was able to analyze trend information from conversations on the forums, including shopping and dealer behavior, re-occurring issues, and concerns which can also be used to predict future behavior.”

Tools such as PowerDrill that turn free form text into relational data may cause Web developers to take a new look at how they utilize forums, feedback forms, Web logs and free-form content spaces.

http://www.infoworld.com/article/04/08/06/HNedmunds_1.html

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Comments (0) | Filed under: Information Architecture, Technology

August 11, 2004, 3:41 pm

“Do not touch the blue E!”

By d/D

For the first time since beating out Netscape, Internet Explorer is losing marketshare:

“No one is forecasting the demise of Internet Explorer, but the most recent data from WebSideStory show that of visits to Web sites the firm tracks, the number made using Explorer declined 1.3 percent from early June to mid-July. At the same time, use of other browsers – Firefox and Opera in particular – rose.”

The key impetus for ordinary users to seek out a different browser appears to be dissatisfaction with pop-up advertisements. Download speed and security concerns also play a role.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/12/technology/circuits/12brow.html (free registration required)

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Comments (0) | Filed under: Current Events, Technology