Marian Dörk
Fluid Views

Fluid Views is a web-based search environment designed to bridge overview and detail by integrating dynamic queries, semantic zooming, and dual layers. The most common form of search results is long ranked and paginated lists, which are seldom examined beyond the top ten items. To support more exploratory forms of information seeking, we bring together the notion of relevance with the power of visual encoding. In Fluid Views, results portray relevance via size and detail in a dynamic top layer and semantic similarity via position on a base map. We designed Fluid Views with temporal, spatial, and content-defined base maps for both textual and visual resources, and tested our prototype system on books, blogs, and photos.

Open Demo


Blog articles from Global Voices are positioned on a geographic base map and sized to reflect their search relevance. Resources that are very close to each other are aggregated into clusters. On the right, a cluster of photos is opened to reveal detailed positions. Here photos are positioned according to similarity in their color content. The search term 'flower' leads to varying item sizes and levels of details. Books are positioned on a time-based base layer according to their publication years. Zooming into the time line reveals more details. Clicking on a book shows a close-up view.

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This project was carried out at the University of Calgary.