[tdwg] Interesting example of tree navigation

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Fri Sep 14 00:46:20 CEST 2007

Speak of the...umm...devil... :-)

> This is essentially a "degree-of-interest" tree, which has been 
> around for a while (e.g.,
> and the underlying concept dates back to the '80s. 

What was that tool you had implemented for visualizing trees, which I
referenced in my previous email?

> It looks nice, but the hierarchy shown is shallow and 
> not too broad. That said, this would be a fun way to 
> display a classification like ITIS. However, at some 
> point we need to ask whether "fun" translates into usability.

This is a good point.  Usability needs to trump sex appeal.  But "fun" can
do something that usability oftentimes can't:  engage people who might
otherwise not be engaged.

All new approaches to interface haves hampered usability in the beginning.
The question is, is it simply a matter of getting used to a new interface,
or does the interface just plain suck even after you get to know how to use
it?  You can't always tell from first impressions.

> Some of the coolest visualisations turn out to be difficult to use (
> e.g., hyperbolic trees).  

That's it!  Hyperbolic trees.  I, for one, found it very useful.


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