CZWeb - A Graphical Aid for Web Navigation and Information Management


Weiyan Yu 

The World-Wide Web is the largest hypertext-based information space in the world. The introduction of modern Web browsers allows even novice computer users with limited resources to access the wide range of services and information available on this global computer network. Navigating this large space and dealing with the information retrieved from it are often daunting tasks, needing advanced information visualization tools. CZWeb is one such tool, a graphical aid to both Web navigation and to Web information management. One of CZWeb\'s important contributions is the set of the visualization methods, including the continuous Zoom distorted view/detail-in-context algorithms. This method is used to represent visited web pages and to view, filter and restructure information retrieved from the Web. Recent extensions include pattern formation methods, based on results of analysis of user studies. The basic alogrithms have been licensed to a startup firm, ThoughtShare Communications Inc., and have formed an integral part of the initial product suite of the company. In this thesis, we developed a graphical navigation tool, referred to as CZWebR, which first explored a hybrid approach by integrating the static web structure into the dynamic navigation history map. In addition to real-time monitoring and controlling the browser's behaviors, CZWebR also presents on fly, in response to the user's request, the underlying link structure of each visited web page and the reference relationships among the visited web pages. CZWebR also helps manage the complexity of web information on the Internet for individual and collaborative use. The Continuous Zoom algorithm, a detail-in-context technique, is utilized to provide multiple focuses and to improve the graphical layout presentation of the history map. This work combines both advanced visualisation methods and HCI methodology. CZWebR is implemented for Windows95/NT platform and written in C .