iSchool collaborates on next version of ChronoZoom

The UW Information School (iSchool) is working with Microsoft Research, University of California Berkeley, and Moscow State University to develop the next version of ChronoZoom, as the project moves from the current beta format to a more robust educational tool.

ChronoZoom, a data visualization tool that allows anyone to interactively explore the history of the universe, received the 2013 South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Award for Education Resource. The SXSW Interactive Awards recognize the years’ best new digital work and celebrates technologists who are building tomorrow's interactive trends.

“The ChronoZoom project is a unique opportunity for the iSchool to contribute several areas of expertise, including taxonomy, information architecture, federated search, content development and metadata design,” said iSchool Assistant Professor Joseph T. Tennis.

The iSchool team working on ChronoZoom includes Tennis, who is designing metadata and consulting on federated search – the ability to search across multiple external sources for information related to site content; Senior Faculty Lecturer Mike Crandall, who is contributing to metadata design and supervising research assistants for the project; and Bob Walter, ChronoZoom technical program manager, who is developing content and providing project management.

Along with iSchool students in the Informatics, MSIM, and MLIS programs, other UW partners on the project are the Comparative History of Ideas, Simpson Center for the Humanities, and UW Tacoma. 

The end result of this collaborative project, according to the ChronoZoom project website, is expected to be an easily accessed and intuitive tool ‘where scientists, researchers, students, and teachers collaborate through ChronoZoom to share information via data, tours, and insight.”

The open source ChronoZoom application is cloud-based, utilizes HTML5 and JavaScript code, and is available under the Apache 2.0 software license.