I’d like a 3-d, navigable, web of ideas. Much like TiddlyWiki which is “a non-linear personal web notebook”. Only I’d like my creation to be visual. I want to see the nodes connect, like a mindmap (like FreeMind).
This is a diagram (click for a better, larger real example of the diagram):
Each node in the web would be an idea. The highlighted node would be displayed in full. Linked nodes, depending on their degree from the highlighted node, would display limited information.
Each node would contain:
- A title
- (eg “Changing Media”)
- On all displayed nodes
- (eg “Data decay is accelerating man’s fall from the Golden Age by obscuring the Great Conversation [GC].”)
- On nodes directly connected to the highlighted node.
- (eg “Hesiod wrote of a Golden Age with no individual property and very little strife. Plato said writing would deteriorate our memories. Each new media format has a shorter life. Data decay will get worse. In the GC humans stretch discussion out over the ages. Info decay may be hampering our ability to communicate to the future generations. We no longer have a stable info format to support a stable, long term conversation. Without an anchor in the GC, we reinvent the wheel and loose collected wisdom. Like fish in progresively dirtier water, the abstract substance in which we exist–of which we are equally hardly aware–may be deteriorating. This is the continuation of the Fall from the Golden Age. Changing media may quicken the deterioration.”)
- Only on the highlighted node.
It would be easy to navigate. Like the ones below, a right click & mouse movement would zomm in/out. Simply clicking a node would hightlight it red and bring it to the center. The web of nodes would reorganize.
This is a thumbnail of the larger, real example:
How to do this:
Prefuse (an “Information Visualization Toolkit) seems to be the best way to do this.
“Prefuse supports a rich set of features for data modeling, visualization, and interaction. It provides optimized data structures for tables, graphs, and trees, a host of layout and visual encoding techniques, and support for animation, dynamic queries, integrated search, and database connectivity. Prefuse is written in Java, using the Java 2D graphics library, and is easily integrated into Java Swing applications or web applets. Prefuse is licensed under the terms of a BSD license, and can be freely used for both commercial and non-commercial purposes.”
The specific examples are from: http://prefuse.org/gallery/
It would be a web like Graph view:
“Storyspace is a hypertext writing environment that is especially well suited to large, complex, and challenging hypertexts. Storyspace focuses on the process of writing, making it easy and pleasant to link, revise, and reorganize.”