We launched Glue API and the contest this Monday and are really excited to see what people are going to build.
I am particularly excited to see the visualizations built using Glue API because 10 years ago, in 1998 I worked for New York-based company called Thinkmap. Invented by Marc Tinkler, Thinkmap pioneered unique information visualization technique. The basic idea was to be able to navigate any relational data set as a network.
What made Thinkmap special is the way information was animated. The motion was created by wiring in the formulas for physical forces - gravity, viscosity, friction. The secret sauce was to combine natural motions in a way that produced stunning visuals. Thinkmap captured user’s imagination and prompted them to explore. Since Thinkmap came out, many similar visualizations were developed, but a few if any matched the feeling of live induced by the original.
Today, Thinkmap is live and well, pushing the frontiers of information visualization. It is best known for its Visual Thesaurus product - popular Java Applet that enables you to see Thesaurus and words in a dynamic and imaginative way. True to its roots, this Thinkmap helps users find the right word through visual inspiration.
Thinkmap.com also features a rich list of clients: Motorola, Sony, US Government, Banks, City of Kyoto and even Paul Allen’s Experience music museum. The company also offers SDK that enables anyone to build Thinkmap visualizations.
So this post is quite nostalgic for me, as its been, well 10 years ago. But it is also very exciting as I am hoping to see awesome visualizations using Glue API. Here is what you need to know to be able to build Thinkmap-like visualization using Glue.
object.users - retrieves the list of users around given object. The object can be either Glue object id or any web page from the site that Glue understands.
user.objects - retrieves the list of objects for a given user. You can get either all objects or recent or objects for specific category.
user.profile - retrieve the information about given user or just link to
http://s3.amazonaws.com/adb/USERNAME/avatar.png if you are looking to get the avatar.
And this is it! The rest is up to your creativity ;)
For more inspirations go to VisualComplexity.com and be sure to let us know what you’ve built!