cs5984: Information Visualization

Homework #3:  Zoomable Visualization Design

Due:  Thurs Nov 1, in class.

The goal of this homework is to gain familiarity with designing an information space using the zooming concept, and to better understand its strengths and weaknesses.  Your assignment is to produce a zooming information space of your choice using the Jazz HiNote applet.

Tools:  You will use the HiNote application that comes with Jazz to build your information space.  You can try HiNote here.  

To construct and save your own information space, you will need to download jazz and run the HiNote java application or use it in the McBryde 104c lab.  You can download Jazz 1.2 here.  You will need Java 2 (preferably 1.3) which is available here.  Run the hinote.jar file in the jazz-1.2/build directory ('java -jar hinote.jar').  To enable the "Save" option, you must run it as an application, not as an applet on a web page.  Important tip:  this software is not necessarily bug free, save your work often and in different file names so you will have backups in case a file gets corrupted.

To make your information space viewable on the web, use HiNote as an applet.  See these instructions about how to do this (except use jar "cvf" not "cvs").  Use this yourname.html file as a template, just change the "yourname.jar" and "yourname.jazzb" references.  Replace 'yourname' everywhere with your Hokie pid.  Your solution will be placed here.  See mine for a simple example.  Seems to work better with Netscape.  Here is the page that will be used to access your solutions.

Design:  Use the HiNote application to design an information space or module that will help someone learn about a particular topic. Your topic can be any area of interest to you such as a hobby, your life story, an event in history, or it can be a topic in an academic area such as computer graphics or human-computer interaction. Your information space should include both text and graphical images, but it can be organized in any way that you see fit. Try to make it include a dense body of information. Experiment with the zooming concept. Try to use it to visualize your information in interesting new ways.  See if you can do better than just powerpoint slides in zooming space as in the HiNote|Help|UsingHiNote.  What does the zooming concept allow you to do that you would not be able to otherwise?  How would the user of your space navigate around and learn from it?

Be sure to include your name so it is visible at startup.

Report:  Write a short 1 page (no exceptions!) analysis of your experience.  Explain briefly what your information space is about (it should probably be somewhat self-explanatory). Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the HiNote zooming concept and of your information space.  What were your design considerations and tradeoffs?

What to hand in:  You should submit the following 2 deliverables:

How you will be graded:  The criteria for grading are: