From MIT Technology Review
Looking for a book, CD, or movie recommendation? Type in the name of an author that you like at Gnooks.com and up pops a screen of other writers. But what makes the site different is that the authors doesn't appear as a scrollable list. Instead, the name you provide sits in the middle of the browser window while the suggested names are sprinkled about, quivering and dancing as though trying to elbow each other out of the way to reach the center.
This is search visualization in action. The closer another writer is to your choice, the more likely the system thinks that you will also enjoy that author's work. Gnooks and other systems are applying data visualization and relationship analysis techniques to help people get a different view of what's on the Web. Rather than deliver search results as a long roster of links, graphical searches show how different categories and types of information relate to each other. The hard part is finding a way of presenting the information without requiring the user to get a degree in how to use the interface.
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