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Feature request: automatic placement of nodes  XML
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markus lagmanson


Joined: 08/08/2008 11:36:13
Messages: 5
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I've noticed some online mind mapping software that automatically spaces the nodes from each other. A really good example is the Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus. Here is a link: http://www.visualthesaurus.com/?vt

To use just enter a word and search. Notice how the Concept Map opens up and automatically spaces the nodes from each other. This would be so useful to have in VUE...especially if there is a lot of information and one needs to add a node in the middle.

Thanks for making VUE such a good product.

Best regards,

Markus
Anoop Kumar


Joined: 08/08/2008 11:36:13
Messages: 49
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Dear Markus,

Thanks for your feedback. We are developing features to load data automatically into VUE Map, creating nodes and placing the nodes using different types of nodes. The layout you suggested will be available in VUE 3.0. Meanwhile if you want to test these in preview releases let me know. If you have specific ideas on data you would like to visualize please let us now.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 08/20/2008 11:10:50

markus lagmanson


Joined: 08/08/2008 11:36:13
Messages: 5
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Hi Anoop,

Thank you for your response. I would love to try any pre-releases you may have.

I'm interested in visualizing how hundreds of video clips relate to each other. It is just a personal project I'm doing to help me remember/study in a conceptual way. I can get VUE to associate the .MOV file with the node and when I click on the resource Quicktime opens automatically. However since the Concept Map is growing as I add things placement is becoming a chore to maintain. That was the reason for my original post.

I have many videos in a folder on my computer. You mentioned that you were working on automatically loading data into VUE. It would be really cool if I could just specify the folder directory on my computer with the video clip resources and VUE would automatically place them on the VUE workspace. I could then very quickly just link the clips together. Once the links have been created VUE could auto arrange the nodes. That would be super. I understand that it is not a trivial task to implement this so I say it biting my lip.

Currently most of my time is spend arranging to make room for new clips, renaming the default title to that of the clip.

Let me know if I can be of any help beta testing your new releases?

Best regards,

Markus

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 08/21/2008 09:23:47

Anoop Kumar


Joined: 08/08/2008 11:36:13
Messages: 49
Offline

Dear Markus,

I have added a feature that allows users to create a map of a folder on desktop. You can get a preview of that feature in our latest daily build:
http://releases.atech.tufts.edu/vue/v2.3preview27/

Once you install VUE. Select Import Dataset from File menu. Select the folder you and clip on open buttom in File Chooser. The select 'Folder' option from the Dataset type window. This will create generate a map.

Please share your experience with us.

Be aware that these builds are for test purpose and there is no guarantee that features will work in same way and the maps created will be compatible with new releases. They are only for test and experimentation.


best wishes,
Anoop

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 09/02/2008 09:27:04

markus lagmanson


Joined: 08/08/2008 11:36:13
Messages: 5
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Hi Anoop,

Thank you for implementing the auto import of files in a folder. It worked like a charm. I should tell you that the Macrovision installed did not work for the Vista build. It complained that the Installer was using an evaluation copy that had expired.

Ok so now I have like 200 Nodes, each with a video file. Really awesome.

Using Format/Arrange tools I was able to get all the nodes in a vertical column. It would be really nice if I could put them into a grid pattern automatically so that it would be easier to "see" them in my program window? Is it possible?

Best regards,

Markus
Anoop Kumar


Joined: 08/08/2008 11:36:13
Messages: 49
Offline

Dear Markus,

We have fixed the problem with installer license. It doesn't say evaluation version anymore.

We are working on sevral layout options and UI to allow users to be able to pick a UI when they import data. I will keep you posted with the development.

best regards,
Anoop
markus lagmanson


Joined: 08/08/2008 11:36:13
Messages: 5
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Hi Anoop,

Thanks for the modifications and the attention you have given me.

Ok I have now used VUE in two separate projects and I have some new comments:

1. A quick Zoom tool (mouse wheel) in combination with a "Shift+mouse button" combination to grab and move the workspace would be useful since my projects have many nodes and it is rather time consuming to navigate to the toolbar to change the mouse pointer for various tasks.

2. "Springiness" on the node behavior similar to that of Cayra or Brain would be nice. What I mean is that each distances itself from other nodes in an automatic fashion.

3. Bulk movement of nodes: Maybe a "Ctrl+mouse button" combination that would allow you to move a node along with single ended nodes attached to the node you want to move on the work-plane.

Sorry I don't mean to throw so many ideas at you but those are the ones that I know that I could really speed up my interaction with VUE.

Cheers,

Markus
dietmar offenhuber


Joined: 08/08/2008 11:36:13
Messages: 8
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Hi,

some thoughts, having implemented a few graph layouters -

we do not really need a fully automated layout algorithm, in fact these are quite annoying, since they update the whole graph and most likely screw up the readability of the labels (overlap etc. - repulsive n-force alg. do not work very well with that).

what i think could be very useful is a situation where you can select a couple of nodes and "relax" them - adjust the inter-node distance and edge lengths according to some parameters. the vector program ink-scape has a surprisingly nice simple feature that is doing just that.

when making a map, we want make adjustments locally, where we run out of space, whithout affecting the rest of the map. as an initial layout, a simple fruchterman-rheingold algorithm would do, which is not hard to implement. but i dont see the need for a fully dynamic "springy" layout in vue.

best,
dietmar
markus lagmanson


Joined: 08/08/2008 11:36:13
Messages: 5
Offline



we do not really need a fully automated layout algorithm, in fact these are quite annoying, since they update the whole graph and most likely screw up the readability of the labels (overlap etc. - repulsive n-force alg. do not work very well with that).


Thanks Dietmar for helping me clarify my position however some users including me need the "springiness". I understand that you would not, so perhaps the best solution is to let the user decide?

In my chart I have more than 200 nodes. Without an automatic springiness it becomes a real labor to keep arranging nodes as I add in more nodes.

Best regards,

Markus
 
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