University of Maryland 2003 Intent of Work

Ben Bederson –

Human-Computer Interaction Lab –


Technical Goals:

Extend the state of the art in Information Visualization and Zoomable User Interfaces to support the Semantic Web.  This includes continuing both our general-purpose toolkits as well as specific visualization applications.


Piccolo - Continue building and supporting Piccolo, our Zoomable User Interface platform (descendant of Jazz).  This is an open source platform in Java and being ported to C# used world wide for many projects, and we will continue to perform both basic research on it as well as supporting it for the general user community. See


PhotoMesa - our zoomable image browser application.  This is currently a standalone local application, but we are extending it to work on the web, and run as an applet. See


SpaceTree – our novel tree browser that builds on conventional layout node link diagrams. It adds dynamic rescaling of branches of the tree to best fit the available screen space, optimized camera movement, and the use of preview icons for unexpanded sub-trees. In addition, it includes integrated search and filter functions. We will investigate the use of SpaceTree for visualization of knowledge and ontology hierarchies.  In addition, we will investigate whether this style of interaction can be extended to general graph exploration by extending SpaceTree to use the Grappa graph layout toolkit.  See

DAML Experiment:

We will demonstrate how PhotoMesa can be used to browse DAML imagery search results.  Depending on what kind of DAML Experiment imagery is available, this will be either directly hooked up live DAML Experiment ontologies, or it will be mocked up, but in either case, it will run as a Java applet.


Next Logical Steps:

Continue refinement of toolkit and applications, and make connections to other DAML researchers to use these tools to visualize other’s datasets.