Alternative Visualization Techniques
Although the spreadsheet-like interface shown above has been used successfully in a number of individual and collaborative projects, there are scenarios in which alternative layouts and interaction techniques may be useful. Since signal names are used to distinguish mapping sources and destinations, this approach lends itself well to mapping scenarios that involve small numbers of devices with heterogeneous parameters-spaces; a scenario that requires mapping of a large number of identical devices (e.g. wireless motes) may confuse the user since the GUI display would be full of entries like this:
The user would likely be better served by a GUI that displayed devices based on their physical location, or the performer’s name if they are worn or hand-held, or perhaps their activity over some specified period of time. To this end, we began exploring alternatives for the network visualization, with the philosophy that no one approach would be appropriate for all users or at all times. Instead, the GUI should allow the user to choose from different views of the mapping network, and even customize and create new views. The data driving the GUI view is supplied by libmapper, which already supports tagging of all entities (devices, signals, connections) with extensible metadata. Prototype versions of the GUI have enabled users to both sort entities using tagged metadata, and to apply new tags.
browsing active devices and their signals
drag-and-drop mapping connections
mode and function editor for connections
filtering parameter lists by OSC prefix or string-matching
saving and loading mapping sets (including consideration of mapping transportability per the GDIF project)
multiple “views” of the mapping network, using different visualization techniques
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