ad info

 
CNN.com  technology > computing
    Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback  

 

  Search
 
 

 
TECHNOLOGY
TOP STORIES

Consumer group: Online privacy protections fall short

Guide to a wired Super Bowl

Debate opens on making e-commerce law consistent

(MORE)

TOP STORIES

More than 11,000 killed in India quake

Mideast negotiators want to continue talks after Israeli elections

(MORE)

MARKETS
4:30pm ET, 4/16
144.70
8257.60
3.71
1394.72
10.90
879.91
 


WORLD

U.S.

POLITICS

LAW

ENTERTAINMENT

HEALTH

TRAVEL

FOOD

ARTS & STYLE



(MORE HEADLINES)
*
 
CNN Websites
Networks image


An XML father maps the Web in 3D

itworld.com
screenshot
Map.net, designed by an XML pioneer, lets you browse the entire Web using a 3D map interface of Antarctica  

(IDG) -- Tim Bray is among a handful of individuals who played a role in birthing XML. Long a voice of common sense in the closely knit XML community, Bray's influence on XML standard evolution is considerable. His current project is interesting, though it has no clear immediate impact on enterprise software developers.

Bray has seen the next step in the Internet's evolution, and it's a 3-D experience. Bray has actually taken that next step with this week's official launch of the Map.net Website.

Using the continent of Antarctica as a visual reference, Bray's company, Antarcti.ca Systems, has constructed a three-dimensional map of the World Wide Web. Built with the company's Visual Net software, the site presents users with a 3-D landscape; the relationships between network elements are represented geographically. Users hover above, moving like a low-flying helicopter through neighborhoods of Websites. The experience has been described as "virtual-reality-like," but the interface feels more like a sophisticated computer game. Users are able to see the sites in detail without downloading any Webpages.

MORE COMPUTING INTELLIGENCE
IDG.net   IDG.net home page
  ITWorld.com Front Page
  Top 10 graphics boards
  Recover data with XML and Reflection
  IDG.net's products pages
  Reviews & in-depth info at IDG.net
  E-BusinessWorld
  TechInformer
  Questions about computers? Let IDG.net's editors help you
  Subscribe to IDG.net's free daily newsletters
  Search IDG.net in 12 languages
  News Radio
  * Fusion audio primers
  * Computerworld Minute

Bray was a keynote speaker at last week's XML DevCon Fall 2000. Map.net's launch was the buzz of the conference, which was overshadowed by the massive Comdex show, but still notable. Bray, who first mapped the Web in 1995, previewed the site in a keynote address at the XTech 2000 Conference earlier this year.

"People have gotten used to seeing the Net through the tiny, unsatisfying lens of search engines," Bray said. "While the engines are getting smarter, nobody would describe Web navigation as either efficient or fun. Antarcti.ca offers a productive and enjoyable public Website that gives people a view of the whole Net and lets them use it in a way that is consistent with the everyday world they live in."

Visual Net has an open API based on Web standards, chiefly HTTP and XML. The software uses XML on the desktop to avoid the network congestion associated with server-based rendering techniques. Visual Net plots and diagrams hundreds of thousands of subject categories and millions of Websites on 2-D and 3-D maps that communicate not only the categories, but also the size, quality of service, and popularity of the sites.

The Web appears in "regions" of varying sizes, determined by the relative popularity and usage of the sites they contain. According to Bray, rendering the Web as a 3-D map reveals new and often obscure information about a network. "It debunks the canard that the Net is all porn and business," he said.

The map's regions include health, news, business, computers, reference, games, and art. Within each category, individual sites and documents are rendered as three-dimensional buildings.

There is a commercial side to Map.net -- Bray admits that the site is a showcase for Visual Net. Access to the new site is free, but Bray expects to promote the Vancouver, British Columbia-based company's technology to corporations interested in creating data maps for their own internal networks.




RELATED STORIES:
Gates touts XML, Tablet PC at Comdex keynote
November 13, 2000
XML takes it to the hoop for the NBA
October 12, 2000
Airlines turn to XML to try to fix e-ticket transfer problems
September 27, 2000
Voice-based XML comes to your car
May 24, 2000
XML: The right tool for odd jobs
April 24, 2000

RELATED IDG.net STORIES:
Software vendors planning XML-based security spec
(NW Fusion)
Recover data with XML and Reflection
(JavaWorld)
Top 10 graphics boards
(PC World)
Rock your desktop
(PC World)
Smoother, more filling 3-D in Vellum Solids 2000
(MacWorld)
Linux storms the enterprise
(NW Fusion)

RELATED SITES:
Map.net

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

 Search   

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.