Monday, April 5, 2010

MediaGLOW: organizing photos in a graph-based workspace

Andreas Girgensohn FX Palo Alto Laboratory, Palo Alto, CA, USA
Frank Shipman Texas A&M University, College Station, CA, USA
Lynn Wilcox FX Palo Alto Laboratory, Palo Alto, CA, USA
Thea Turner FX Palo Alto Laboratory, Palo Alto, CA, USA
Matthew Cooper FX Palo Alto Laboratory, Palo Alto, CA, USA

paper link:

MediaGLOW is a graph-based interactive workspace for organizing photos.
GLOW stands for Graph Layout Organization Workspace. Photos can be organized into stacks based on relatedness and distance to produce glowing areas of relatedness called "neighborhoods." Neighborhoods are indicated by a colored halo where the photos are located. Photos can only belong to a single neighborhoods however, their relatedness to other neighborhoods can be shown by overlapping neighborhood halos.

Relatedness of the nodes/photos in the graph are indicated by manually entered tag data associated which each photo. Related photos and neighborhoods are moved when a related area is moved to maintain the visual relatedness. Relatedness of photos can also be determined by the time the photos were taken or by geographical location of where the photos were taken. (Temporal and Geographical) Photos anchored to a node based on relatedness are indicated by a blue lines called "spring."

The user can zoom in and out of the workspace and conduct standard selection gestures as well as use a get all button to select all photos based on tags, places, or dates.

A user study was conducted using both a traditional photo organization program and media glow where users had to organize 450 photos into categories of:
Then they organized 3 photos from each category into a travel brochure.

The study showed that while the mediaGLOW interface was not as efficient as the traditional program, users stated that mediaGlow was more fun.

My spill:

MediaGLOW is a visually interesting program that makes use of some good metrics for organization, but the fact that they're placing photos on a blank interface makes the program LESS organized than other photo organizers that use a grid.

I like the idea of making interfaces more fun, but I think that makes the interface only useful for novice photo organizers where the more advanced metrics won't be as appreciated.

I like the idea of overlapping halos and geographic metrics for photos and having a clear interface probably keeps the workspace from being too obfuscating or overwhelming.

For future mediaGLOW work, I'd like to see the photos based on the relatedness based on inherent photo content somewhat like what the google image search does.

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