RE: Novel data browser

From: Butler, Mark <>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 10:55:52 +0100

Hi Stefano

> does it work with Mozilla/Firebird? because I'm
> having trouble figuring out how it is supposed to
> work, but I don't know if it's the crappy usability concept or it's just

It works better in Mozilla than IE for me, the usability is poor.

Here's a walkthrough which should help:

- Click on the + next to Demo on the left
- Click on the + next to Surveys on the left
- If you click on the title of the survey, you get some descriptive metadata
- If you click on the box to the left of the survey "say British Crime
Survey" you get more information about the dataset. This information is
divided into metadata and variable description
- Click the + next to metadata. This gives more information, e.g. the study
description, the data files description.
- Click the + next to Variable description.
- Click the + next to Demographics
- Now click on "Ethnic Group" and you get some statistics

The problem is clicking on then + or the box does something different to
clicking on the text, which is counterintuitive at first.

- Now click "table" at the bar in the middle.
- If you go to click on "Sex", a floating menu will appear. Click "Add to
It will probably ask for a username / password at this point, type nesstar /
- If you now click on "Marital Status", a floating menu will appear. Click
"Add to row"
It will construct a table showing the breaking of responsdants by Sex /
Marital Status.

Admittedly its aimed at statistical information, and SIMILE isn't, but it
was just interesting to see the (not perfect) browsing paradigm for dealing
with reasonably complex datasets which are annotated with metadata.


> Its mainly aimed at social science communities, but I thought it was
> interesting because of the browsing paradigm, and because the data is
> quite heterogeneous. They use DDI metadata standard - see
> A similar system is being developed by the Harvard / MIT data center -
> see and see
> for a demo.
> It makes the raw XML metadata files available e.g.
> .theda

kewl, that might be another dataset we want to add to the mix.

Stefano Mazzocchi
Research Scientist                 Digital Libraries Research Group
Massachusetts Institute of Technology            location: E25-131C
77 Massachusetts Ave                   telephone: +1 (617) 253-1096
Cambridge, MA  02139-4307              email: stefanom at mit . edu
Received on Thu Jul 29 2004 - 09:56:24 EDT

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