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Browser History Diagram

Tiered and threaded, and all pretty
  [vote for,

In the course of foraging about in the net, I often bounce around apparently at random, going forward and back in the history, following links to and fro, opening multiple windows, and generally making a mess of whatever it was that I was trying to accomplish.

I'd like to see a cohesive browser history that presents itself as a (possibly 3d?) tree diagram, cataloguing all of the back-and-forth goings, and graphically presenting a history audit trail. Alternatively, one could swap the tree layout for a strictly 2d chronological view. Each browser session (being constituted of closing all instances of said browser and restarting from scratch) would be accounted for, and the entire histories of each window of each session would all be universally logged and accessible, so as to provide a means to find that link that you just *know* you remember seeing but were too lazy to bookmark.

absterge, Jan 03 2001

WWW Graphic History Browser http://www.cc.gatec...aicG_1.0_about.html
Baked long long ago... why hasn't it caught on? [egnor, Jan 03 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Domain Tree Browser http://www.cs.umd.e...ish/webHistory.html
A little newer. A little ickier. Look at those poorly scaled bitmaps! Yuck! [egnor, Jan 03 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

History Keeping in Computer Applications http://www.cs.umd.e...s/history-workshop/
They had a whole workshop on this topic! [egnor, Jan 03 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Creating Custom Graphical Web Views Based on User Browsing History http://www.ultranet...oster/paper/hg.html
Yet another. This was hot stuff at one point. [egnor, Jan 03 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

WebPath - A Three Dimensional Web History http://tina.lancs.a...ebpath/webpath.html
Here's one in 3D. (Wow, that looks totally unusable.) [egnor, Jan 03 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Surf Maps: Visualizing Web Browsing http://www.cybergeo...org/atlas/surf.html
The Atlas of Cyberspaces calls this concept "Surf Maps". They list several variations on the theme here. [egnor, Jan 03 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Tapestry: Your History is Only the Beginning http://sibyl.www.me...estry/abstract.html
Are you tired of examples yet? I am. [egnor, Jan 03 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Design Guidelines for Effective WWW History Mechanisms http://citeseer.nj.nec.com/259703.html
These people used an instrumented browser to collect information about real-world history usage. [egnor, Jan 03 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

meta-browser http://www.halfbake...m/idea/meta-browser
Jutta wants visualization for the structure of the Web, as opposed to your history. [egnor, Jan 03 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Nestor, the Web browser and cartographer http://www.gate.cnr...zeiliger/nestor.htm
Yet another (posted on another idea), but this one appears to be still alive and kicking. It's a wrapper for Internet Explorer, and also supports annotation and chat. Free trial only. [egnor, Jan 03 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

How about a spiral approach? http://mozwho.mozdev.org
Rapidly solidifying vaporware tracking history in Mozilla. [andyed, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

TrailBlazer http://www.acm.uiuc...ojects/trailblazer/
Developed for Mac OS X panther, does a 2D tree layout with thumbnails and summaries, also allows filtering the the trees with real time content search. [jbtule, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

history graphs http://www.halfbake...ea/history_20graphs
A similar idea, but in a more general context. [CheapTalk, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Browsing Icons ftp://ftp.cs.umd.ed...-19html/2001-19.htm
A paper from 2001 (HCIL at University of Maryland), with a slightly different take on how arrange the diagram and a number of references to other approaches. [CheapTalk, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Pathway, a graph-based browser for Wikipedia http://lifehacker.c...the-day-pathway-mac
Not updated since 2007 :( I wanted to offer to take over development of it, but the developer seems to have disappeared. [notexactly, Jul 14 2016]

Archive of Pathway site https://wayback.arc...hway.screenager.be/
See above link [notexactly, Jul 14 2016]


       This is surely baked, I just have never seen it. Seems like you'd need to log all addresses, plus activity of the navigation buttons (forward, back). Could this just add a croissant to my favorites list?
reensure, Jan 03 2001

       I navigate the same way, and I could *definitely* use a good, visual history navigator. It wouldn't even have to be 3d -- just a tree view that started a new branch each time I opened a link in a new window or went to a specific address (i.e., search engine) by hand. Maybe a special command to indicate the "beginning" of a new browsing session, and to start a new history record. Of course, history records should be saveable.   

       My main question is how to best integrate this history record with the browser itself, and with other tools. Of course, integration can be limited to being able to click on a history item to go to that page -- but it would also be useful to be able to resume a browsing session, including multiple open windows, with a click of a button.   

       Of course, the greatest achievement would be a system where you can categorize branches of your navigation history, take notes from each page (highlight text on the page, click button: text is saved, with proper bibliographical citation!), and then export all your information in an XML format ... <evil grin> ... am I taking this too far? :)
illya23b, Jan 04 2001

       Go search. Why hasn't the concept caught on? Go figure.
egnor, Jan 04 2001

       You can see what order you visited very easily via MSN history feature. Once history panel is open, just click: view...by order visited today. It is pragmatic, not too anal. Memory used to be so precious. Literally and figuratively.
thumbwax, Jan 04 2001

       ack ack!
absterge, Jan 04 2001

       Damn it, I thought of this one a week-and-a-half too late...
-alx, Jan 14 2002

       A week-and-a-half *and a year*!
angel, Jan 14 2002

       whoops...my head's still not adjusted to that whole 2002 thing...
-alx, Jan 14 2002

       About a year and a half ago...
RobertKidney, Jun 10 2003

       This sounds like IBM's "Webmap" which was included in IBM Webexplorer browser for OS/2 circa 1994. Oh the crap I carry around in my brain.
robincanada, Jun 10 2003


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