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3b.jpga free, downloadable browser that renders the web as a 3D city or store of display windows, each showing a different site or product. in contrast to hierarchical editors (e.g. Yahoo: Levi's is positioned under the category Business > Apparel > Casual > Denim) this 3D browsing interface uses self-organization to catalogue websites, as it leaves it entirely up to the site's owner to decide their best position within the city (e.g. Levi's next to MTV). virtual location selection is managed similar to commercial property development: site owners bid against one another for their favorite locations, & can re-sell their locations in a free market.
it is claimed this 3D city metaphor is more effective & 'better than Google' for advertisers & users because it relies on visual discrimination, rather than keywords & logic-based searches. [3b.net|thnkx David]

1 COMMENT

I can see this technology working better on virtual reality reproduction of real-life retail shopping areas. Once you work from the building block that city authorities survey their shopping areas with automatic camera vans (and perhaps aerial radar shots at later stages) then portal vendors compete for the best presentation of that data. The above system would indicate some interesting new applications, especially for investors wanting to buy up retail properties and change building use. Traffic flows of shoppers might be useful. However this all depends on city authorities taking on the challenge to create a single data collection (especially 24 hour updates on permanent closures) and then franchising it out to software companies. The above concept would allow one franchised version of the particular city in question to seek revenues by charging shop-keepers hotspot entry points into their own websites. Of course the franchising system is going to have to accommodate nationwide availability, else visitors cannot find easily unfamiliar cities. My own view would be that the streets should flow counter-directional to aid advance purchase planning by criss-crossing the streets. Perhaps they should try and analyse the behavioural patterns of shoppers on a high-street to see parallels with the 3-D "stroll and know" model they wish to advocate.

Thu 13 Oct 2005 at 6:30 AM
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