Time and Maps
Social object-sharing web sites such as Flickr, del.icio.us, Twitter, Yelp, and any blog are all constructed around streams of data and content. Such services are inherently about time, especially when user communities have existed long enough to demand robust navigation and search interfaces for mining their own objects from the past. We will offer an overview of practical techniques and fanciful experiments about navigation and exploration of time-series data as they relate to maps and location.
Six aspects of time and spatial navigation that will be touched on:
- Absolute position: finding objects when drawn on a timeline. Equally relevant across many orders of magnitude an audio composition, a movie playback, a conference programme, a lifetime of photographs, the duration of a civilization, the history of the universe, etc.
- Cyclic position: when do repeating events happen? 24 hours, 7 days, 3 months, 365 days. What size pieces feel right to pass around, how do we talk about and name units of time, formally or not?
- Folding gaps and filtering: how noise is de-emphasized and details obscured in empty, ignored, or older time periods.
- Lens effects and highlighting: how signal is highlighted in densely populated, chosen, or recent time periods.
- Animation and instant replays: solutions for repeating periods of interest. Repeatability is a fundamental part of science, measuring things changes how you look at them.
- References, links, and names for specific times or time ranges. Best and existing practice for linking to slices of content.