Does such a thing as a visual wiki exist, and if so, where?
June 28, 2006 9:37 PM   Subscribe

Does such a thing as a visual wiki exist, and if so, where?

I'm looking for a piece of software or the equivalent of a Google Maps mashup without the Google Maps - just looking for the ability to 'pin' a pin on a background image more than the ability to geographically locate that pin in a state. It would be kind of a virtual dartboard/pin the tail on the donkey type thing.

How hard would it be to program, and what language would it be programmed in? It would be more than just an imagemap - ideally people would be able to add a pin wherever they wanted on the image. All I've found is this site ( which is a great idea but not being implemented yet. Would it be possible to have the functionality of a Google Map without the geography - extract that mapness without the geography with a simple image in the background?

Something lightweight would be best - it doesn't have to be Flash, and I wouldn't need to zoom in/out, that type of thing, but I'm open to ideas. Ideally one could add images instead of pins, but I'll start simple for now :)

Any ideas? Is something like this being developed anywhere? Are there any info visualization applications I could appropriate for this?
posted by rmm to Technology (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I'd like to shoot you an email to chat about this, but there is none in your profile. :(

Look me up? We should talk!
posted by heresiarch at 9:49 PM on June 28, 2006

Just to be clear... you want to position things relative to one another on a canvas that you can zoom in and out of that doesn't look like the earth?

That's pretty cool...
posted by phrontist at 9:57 PM on June 28, 2006

Adobe Flex and its Ajax extension may help if you wanted to write an image database-browser with a nice Flash interface.

I think a friend of a friend at the Academy of Natural Sciences was working on something like this in DHTML, to do algae image cataloging with an interface similar to your specifications. I'll look into it and if there's anything I'll post whatever I can share.
posted by Mr. Six at 10:08 PM on June 28, 2006

You can actually just use google maps if you want. There is an API, and various people have created all kinds of custom sites based on it.

There are also standalone frameworks to implement the tiled/draggable image/map concept:
CivicMaps tile engine
GSV 1.0
GSV 2, renamed GSIV
posted by Rhomboid at 10:44 PM on June 28, 2006

You don't say who you expect to use this, and when.

If you don't need a web-based interface, and you are more concerned with simultaneous modifications than version history, you might look into Inkscape. Recent releases provide an "inkboard" feature which allows collaborative, realtime, networked editing of a vector graphics image (which can include embedded rasterized images as subobjects).

Caveat: i think the inkboard functionality is still somewhat immature, and i haven't used it myself yet.

However, inkscape itself is a very cool program and worth playing with even if you can't get the inkboard stuff working.
posted by dkg at 10:44 PM on June 28, 2006

It sorta sounds like you're describing mind-mapping software. There's tons of it out there, but here's a link to a screenshot of FreeMind. The idea is that you can lay information out in a manner that expresses the way that it realtes to other information.
posted by lekvar at 10:47 PM on June 28, 2006

Excellent stuff. I'm familiar with the mind-mapping software - it would have to be web based so that others could contribute. dkg, I'd like to have anyone use it - it's a wiki, after all - and as for when, whenever it's developed :)

heresiarch, I'll be in touch. Mr. Six, would love to hear what your friend is doing. And everyone, thanks for the answers. Looks like there would be a market for such a thing...
posted by rmm at 11:11 PM on June 29, 2006

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