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Wish List - nanoHUB.org: Wish #98

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Michael McLennan

Visual taxonomy for browsing the site

We should create a few Flash-based, interactive maps of nanotechnology, which show various areas (nanoelectronics, nanomaterials, etc.) as bubbles and show the resources on nanoHUB that sit within or near those bubbles. This would act as a roadmap for new users, and also help us identify missing content. These maps should be featured perhaps on the front page and on various topic pages that describe areas of nanotechnology. Note that this might be satisfied in part by the “tag dive” project.

For: attract users, site navigation

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  1. Gerhard Klimeck

    This is actually not an optional item. This is a MANDATORY object given to us from our program managers. This will involve me in terms of laying out sample maps. If we can automate the process, that would be a great second step. The first one is to make a set of maps that show different views of content. I am attaching some sketches.

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    1. Gerhard Klimeck

      here are some additional notes that pertain also to educational usage. We need to have an interactive table in which faculty members can easily identify which classes in which field of science for what educational level are availble on the nanoHUB.

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  2. Cristina Leal Gonzalez

    A visual taxonomy would be particularly beneficial for users just beginning to explore nanotechnology. Such a feature would (1) allow users to visualize the relationship between different innovations and areas of research and (2) explore topics they may not have previously seen as related or relevant. Such a feature would allow users to construct a narrative about these relationships, which is a compelling way for most people to learn new concepts.

    I particularly like Gerhard’s first illustration in which a rather concrete but not overly linear portrait of relationships is shown. The second illustration reminds me of current work being done on creating visual narratives with data (see http://www.gapminder.org/ for one of the most compelling examples). Much can be done with that type of visualization.

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  3. Margaret Shepard Morris

    In addition to whatever maps, the following link offers a clean, simple page that gives the new user a “feel” for their site. This page could serve as a model for some nanoHUB roadmap issues:

    http://cnx.org/help/ I particularly like the list of Helps on the left that include:

    FAQ, Glossary, New Author Guide, link to the proprietary mark-up language CNXML, Intellectual Property, Lenses, Browser Support, Technical Support…

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  4. Michael Anderson

    I seem to recall a suggestion for using common nano-structures, like the buckyball, to visualize the connections among the various fields.

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  5. Alexander S McLeod

    I think the categories in this taxonomy should be directly tied to the “tags” used throughout the HUB in some way. Although folks have been making their own tags for quite some time, it should be possible to consolidate the most popular tags within the taxonomy. This would more concretely ground the use of tag navigation, and will encourage developers to tag their resources appropriately so that they’d appear in the right place as a destination in the taxonomy.

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  6. Margaret Shepard Morris

    As I was pulling together a list of the Courses for use in a mapping exercise, I kept seeing |0| as a tag that connected the user to directions for tagging. I think the |0| would be better stated as |Tags Usage| or |Tags Explained|.

    This comment just really follows the McLeod comment that tags need to be “accessible” and a bit more codified.

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  7. Shawn Rice

    Initial taxonomies now exist at:

    http://nanohub.org/resources/tools?view=taxonomy http://nanohub.org/resources/courses?view=taxonomy

    Built with HTML5 canvas and Javascript. The taxonomies have some functionality in being able to turn columns on/off to narrow down interests. Still not sure if it’s the best way to visually represent the data but it IS a start. Future investigation and further integration into the site’s code will undoubtedly happen.

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  8. Gerhard Klimeck

    please link the tool pwered curricula courses They are not getting the appropriate pop-up of information. like semiconductor fundemantals to the abacus tool – please link to the tool page instead, which has usage states and information on it ABACUS AQME ANTSY Berkeley course

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