What’s zee problem?

28 10 2008

  Item the Eighth under My 10 Items, is about the z-axis and how third dimensional capabilities in visual interaction with teh internets could potentially revolutionize not just the way we see data and the way data interactions are structured but would necessitate such things as new mouse design and different keyboards.  While the applications for gaming and movies are obvious and visceral, the z-axis also holds great potential for digital collections. 

  The 3rd dimension, the z-axis, has been around in visual representations for a long time.  Its application has been limited.  Mostly by cost and technology but, as terabytes and ever faster processing speed have become almost passé, the application of the 3rd dimension to visual data interactions becomes more feasible and likely. 

  The z-axial application could be a revolutionary application or tool for the visual data interaction we all have with digital collections.  The z-axis, fore and aft, could be a citation stream.  As one moves forward one would go through the articles cited by the original article and aft would be articles that have cited the original article.  This is just my initial thought on the z-axis.  I am positive some industrial types could think of better ways to use the z-axis but, this seems handy to me so I include it here.  This could also be used for links, with fore and aft, one could go to pages that link to the original page and the other way round.

  For websites this could be used for similarity chases.  Say one is on Amazon looking to purchase a new CD or mp3 download, fore could be a search through other retail sites that list your item as well, aft could be scrolling through Stereogum, Pitchfork, Allmusic, etc., for reviews and cross listings in the vein of “if you like this, you may also like” style.  Again, I’m sure there are better applications but, I include this here only for an example of how it could be used.  There could even be a “hard fore” and a “hard aft, ” excuse the implicit puns.  Soft movement could be through the current site, hard could be the situation I just described.  This could be made true of current “<-” and “->” buttons.  A soft “<-/->” click would move you through the original page’s page history while a hard “<-/->” could redesignate an original page or move you through the browser history of one of the other fore/aft pages history.  So, if one starts on Amazon, moves forward to Stereogum and then clicks a few links there, the soft “<-/->” would move you through Amazon level’s browser history.  A hard “<-/->” would move you through your current level’s browser history.  I hope this is convoluted enough.

  This is very new and is just starting to be discussed and mulled over.  I see the z-axis as inevitable.  It will become part of the way we interact with data, maybe not until we are all old and enfeebled but, it will happen.  Thinking about its uses and applications is fun as it makes me wish that this system was already in place.

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