Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

The system is limited, however, by how much historical data is available. To test the tool, the researchers chose 1,000 frequently updated websites and stored information captured every hour over four months.

But for Zoetrope to cover the entire Web would mean capturing huge amounts of data, says Eytan Adar, a PhD student at the University of Washington who was involved with the research. He has investigated the rates at which people tend to check different pages for updates and says that such information could provide insights into how often pages need to be recorded, thereby reducing the amount of data that needs to be stored. “It’s impossible to crawl and capture some of these things at the rate at which they’re changing,” Adar says. “But for something like Zoetrope, it’s a smaller percentage of the Web that we want to track. We don’t actually need to get every single page that’s out there.”

Kris Carpenter, who directs efforts to record Web pages at the Internet Archive, is enthusiastic about the new tool. “This is a fantastic leap forward,” she says, adding that Zoetrope could be used as a stand-alone application or eventually become part of the browser. “The advances of the interface are phenomenal in terms of being able to navigate data in a very different way and associate it across websites,” Carpenter says. “I think most users have an interest in trying to connect the dots between different sources of information, but there are almost no tools available to make that an easy thing to do.” She adds that the Internet Archive is interested in sharing its data with the Zoetrope researchers.

Adobe’s Dontcheva says that before Zoetrope can be released, her team intends to develop additional features to make it simpler and more powerful to use. “The interface is still evolving,” she says.

4 comments. Share your thoughts »

Credit: Technology Review
Video by University of Washington/Adobe Systems

Tagged: Communications, Web, Internet, data mining, browser

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me