||(top) The time
quilt layout makes better use of screen space by breaking a long
vertical linear timeline into columns.
(bottom) Screenshot of the time quilt browser. Each thumbnail
represents an entire cluster of photos and will break apart into the
actual photo thumbnail when zoomed in. Clusters are laid out using
the time quilt layout shown above.
For the large percentage of users who don't want to invest the effort
of manually organizing their photo collections, only (1) the photo creation date and
(2) the visual contents
of the photo itself are available to support retrieval. Linear timeline
layouts maximize use of the former; space-filling photo layouts (e.g.,
the use of the latter. We propose time quilt, a layout designed
to combine the benefits of both approaches. A time quilt layout is
created by packing a timeline layout into a rectangular screen space
using a "line break" algorithm. While still conveying temporal order, the
time quilt layout makes reasonable use of screen space. In an
experimental comparison of space-filling, timeline, and time quilt
layouts, participants carried out the task of finding photos in their
personal photo collections averaging 4,000 items. They performed 45%
faster on time quilt.
In addition, we have used the time quilt photo
browser to investigate what we call "semantic zooming based on
representative photos". When zoomed out, our browser collapses each
cluster of thumbnails into a single large thumbnail. This allows users
to get an overview of collections that are so large that normal
thumbnails would become unreadably small when zoomed out.
In collaboration with
David Huynh and