Welcome, Guest. Please Login
Tinderbox
  News:
IMPORTANT MESSAGE! This forum has now been replaced by a new forum at http://forum.eastgate.com and no further posting or member registration is allowed. The forum is still accessible via read-only access for reference purposes. If you wish to discuss content here, please use the new forum. N.B. - posting in the new forum requires a fresh registration in the new forum (sorry - member data can't be ported).
  HomeHelpSearchLogin  
 
Pages: 1 2 
Send Topic Print
A meta-map? (Read 24799 times)
Rob Forsyth
Full Member
*
Offline



Posts: 63

Re: A meta-map?
Reply #15 - Sep 10th, 2009, 3:29am
 
I've enjoyed this exchange, and pondered similar issues elsewhere on this forum before. I recently discovered Prezi (http://prezi.com) and enjoyed their approach to what in some ways is a similar problem to structuring information for presentation/overview. I don't know how familiar people are with this but would encourage people to visit.

It seems to me you could in principle use their approach of extreme variation in font sizing and "hyper-zooming" to create the illusion of exploring a nested structure although in fact everything's on one "level". Perhaps you could use this approach to show the meta-map? I suspect however that the implementation (particularly such wide variation in font size) within a standard Mac app may be non-trivial!

Rob
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
John Quanrud
Full Member
*
Offline



Posts: 3

Re: A meta-map?
Reply #16 - Sep 19th, 2009, 10:13am
 
What you describe, Mark, as a 'meta-map' is feature I have wanted from the very first time I started working with Tinderbox. I prefer working visually and so have created many maps for my research, but always struggle when it comes time to covert my thoughts into an article. The ability to visualise all the layers of an outline in map view would be a most useful addition to my Tinderbox experience.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Amafortas
Full Member
*
Offline



Posts: 90

Re: A meta-map?
Reply #17 - Sep 27th, 2009, 10:21pm
 
Yup. I can see how this sort of view would help with organizing information for writing. Is this sort of thing possible in Tinderbox's programming language or is it stretching the parameters in ways that are simply unfeasible?

Have a good one,

~A
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Amafortas
Full Member
*
Offline



Posts: 90

Re: A meta-map?
Reply #18 - Nov 27th, 2009, 12:42pm
 
Hello all,

I was wondering if there is any more work done on this topic?

Thanks,

~A
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Mark Anderson
YaBB Administrator
*
Offline

User - not staff!

Posts: 5689
Southsea, UK
Re: A meta-map?
Reply #19 - Nov 27th, 2009, 1:36pm
 
Today? It stretches what might be done, but look at this page, as the concept of separator=adornment offers some scope for mimicking map areas in an outline.
Back to top
 
 

--
Mark Anderson
TB user and Wiki Gardener
aTbRef v6
(TB consulting - email me)
WWW shoantel   IP Logged
greg ibendahl
Full Member
*
Offline



Posts: 15

Re: A meta-map?
Reply #20 - Jan 21st, 2010, 1:03am
 
What about a meta-map view with "panes" where each pane would represent a different level of the outline. These panes would be adjustable for width and also with different zoom levels. You'd still have all the issues that Mark mentioned but it might help with visualization. I'd also like to see a dotted line link (or something) that would connect parents to children in such a view.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Mark Anderson
YaBB Administrator
*
Offline

User - not staff!

Posts: 5689
Southsea, UK
Re: A meta-map?
Reply #21 - Jan 21st, 2010, 2:27am
 
Greg, how do you see that scaling past a few containers. Once the doc grows you'll need lots of panes - my current TBX has >150 containers (i.e. maps).
Back to top
 
 

--
Mark Anderson
TB user and Wiki Gardener
aTbRef v6
(TB consulting - email me)
WWW shoantel   IP Logged
greg ibendahl
Full Member
*
Offline



Posts: 15

Re: A meta-map?
Reply #22 - Jan 21st, 2010, 10:14am
 
Mark, A current map view shows the children of a single parent. What I'm proposing is that a "pane" show all notes at the same outline level. As an analogy, My parents have 3 sons and me and one of my brothers have 3 kids each (my other brother has no kids). That makes 6 grandkids for my parents. If I was to create a map view of my parent's grandkids, there would have to be one map for my kids and another for my brother's kids. With the pane view, the 3rd pane in the map would have all the grandkids.

While your current file may have lots of map views, how may levels deep is it? I'm guessing that may folks only have files that go 3 or 4 levels deep. And making the panes' width adjustable should help. The first pane could probably be fairly narrow in most cases. However, you do bring up an issue that with a lot of levels in your outline, you could end up with a lot of skinny panes. Perhaps you could allow for a second row of panes but this makes reading the map somewhat more difficult.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Mark Anderson
YaBB Administrator
*
Offline

User - not staff!

Posts: 5689
Southsea, UK
Re: A meta-map?
Reply #23 - Jan 21st, 2010, 11:15am
 
The doc is about 2000+ notes/agents/aliases/etc going down as far as level 9. OK, in my case it's primarily an outline, but I've learned never to assume.

So the idea might most easily be though of as like Finder column view except each column is a site-wide slice as that outline level except the selection at any given level doesn't alter the pane to it's right (as Finder would!).

OK so if column 3 (outline level 3) has 10 containers at that level, then column/pane 3 has to have 10 maps drawn into it. Except those are 10 discreet maps then you can't just merge/overlap them - without affecting the outline - each maps is a single container.  So column 3 now needs 10 rows, one per column (or more/less as the number of containers. Interesting idea.
Back to top
 
 

--
Mark Anderson
TB user and Wiki Gardener
aTbRef v6
(TB consulting - email me)
WWW shoantel   IP Logged
greg ibendahl
Full Member
*
Offline



Posts: 15

Re: A meta-map?
Reply #24 - Jan 21st, 2010, 12:12pm
 
Mark, Actually what you are proposing (i.e., a pane with rows for each parent) is what I had first considered. I'm now thinking more that each pane would be basically a new type of map view that would require an alternative attribute for X and Y position in the meta-map pane. Consider my previous analogy with my parents grandkids: In the 3rd pane all 6 grandkids would be listed. However, I might want to group them within this pane so that all the boys are together and all the girls are together (which would require mixing my children with my brother's children).

I wonder though if you could use the X and Y position from the regular map view to assign an initial position in the meta-map with some way to offset the vertical position relative to where the parent note is in the outline. This would help when opening a new meta-map view so that all the notes were not grouped together in the middle.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Mark Anderson
YaBB Administrator
*
Offline

User - not staff!

Posts: 5689
Southsea, UK
Re: A meta-map?
Reply #25 - Jan 21st, 2010, 12:29pm
 
I see, so in effect everything has two map positions - one on the normal per-container map and one on the meta map for normal map's overall outline level. The two positions might be the same but rarely will be, I suspect as all maps use the same basic co-ords and mashing them together would require some resetting of per-container map positions. I suspect that would be difficult to program, but I'm not a software engineer. A hard part of the appreciation is knowing, without actually building it, whether such a complicated feature will actually live up the the concept.

It's worth noting this is still a constraining context in that it only suits documents where note that need to be on the same meta map are on the same outline level.  If you have stuff on level 2, spatially  interacting with level 3 content is out as they're in different frames.

Your comment about most active maps not being too deep did make me think that a more effectively push to 'map flattening' would be to allow a 2 level outline/map transpose where on going from outline to map the containers become adornments. OK fewer levels supported but probably a more achievable solution. not that I've strong feeling on this - I was originally picking up on users comments about the problem of starting out with Map and then maturing to Outline when the need for export/output beckoned.
Back to top
 
 

--
Mark Anderson
TB user and Wiki Gardener
aTbRef v6
(TB consulting - email me)
WWW shoantel   IP Logged
Brian Gregory
Full Member
*
Offline



Posts: 28
Tucson, AZ
Re: A meta-map?
Reply #26 - Feb 23rd, 2010, 12:02pm
 
Admin has moved this cross-post to a new thread.
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: Feb 23rd, 2010, 1:21pm by Mark Anderson »  
bdgmdmba   IP Logged
Greg Korgeski
Full Member
*
Offline



Posts: 89
Vermont
Re: A meta-map?
Reply #27 - Feb 26th, 2010, 11:16pm
 
It seems that rather than "panes," a more three-dimensional view which allowed one to expand thoughts to view their links or link-networks, would be helpful.  Panes seem like thin slices, to use a biology lab or CAT-scan analogy -- adorn all you will, they are still two-dimensional, static views, whereas something more like a three-dimensional view of thought-networks (or thought "galaxies") would be nicer.  I like PersonalBrain for that (from thebrain.com); I can build networks of linked thoughts and then expand either entire documents or more often, selectively expand certain thoughts to see their link networks; it allows a dynamic drag and view kind of function in which some thought clusters trail off into "space" and seem further away, and others are closer.  It allows for a visual perspective of near-and far clusters of relationships which don't require one to click on containers and so lose higher level views in order to see lower level views -- you can effectively see as many levels as you want in a three dimensional space.

PersonalBrain lacks some of the potential functionality of Tinderbox documents, such as agents; but it provides a much more flexible and aesthetically exciting visual tool for visualizing complex idea networks.

Frankly I keep vacillating between relying on Tinderbox and PersonalBrain for exactly this reason.  It would be nice to have a way to have the three-dimensional map complexity of PB (along with its less daunting "learning curve," which is just another way of saying that only a few people will ever master your software)... but with the potential power of Tinderbox as well.  

If you look at how apps develop over time, either Tinderbox will eventually have to go that way, or someone is going to write its replacement which will combine these features into a next gen of software.   I can't imagine slogging along without these changes in five or ten years, esp given the amazing potential of touch-screen user interfaces which just cry out for three-dimensional mapping applications.

Greg
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Mark Bernstein
YaBB Administrator
*
Offline

designer of
Tinderbox

Posts: 2871
Eastgate Systems, Inc.
Re: A meta-map?
Reply #28 - Feb 27th, 2010, 9:19am
 
Greg:

Personal Brain's map isn't actually three-dimensional.  It's a hyperbolic browser.  We've been following that technology with interest since its original appearance in the research literature.  It's not without problems, and it appears to be encumbered by *two* separate and mutually contradictory patents.

The history of real three dimensional hypertext browsers since Lai and Manber's _Flying Through Hypertext_ (Hypertext 91 -- I *hope* I've got the right paper, but I'm in Florida and can't easily check the reference).  To their very great credit, they found tjhat people had trouble actually using a 3D representation, although they liked it.  

There have been other interesting examples of hypertext browsers using three dimensions or non-Euclidian spaces.  Marshall and Shipman won a Nelson award for a rubber-sheet spatial hypertext system with a fine paper, but neither retained the feature in the later work. Andreas Dieberger's _Information City_ (at IBM) was very cool, and should probably be followed up again.  Adding a third dimension to hierarchical browsers like Tinderbox's Chart and Outline can be intriguing too, or at least attractive: see for example, Durand and Kahn's MAPA.

A problem to keep in mind, though, is that while people are fairly good at looking at 3-dimensional representations, they are not generally adept at navigating or transforming them.  Ask any fighter-plane instructor!  (That's not a rhetorical figure; I'm pretty sure Lai and Manber did just that)
Back to top
 
 
WWW   IP Logged
garyturner
Full Member
*
Offline



Posts: 12

Re: A meta-map?
Reply #29 - Mar 22nd, 2011, 12:54pm
 
Greg, I have to agree with you 100%
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Pages: 1 2 
Send Topic Print