Microsoft Live Labs researchers have developed Pivot, a tool designed to visually organize large data sets. Pivot presents data in the form of several images accompanied by textual data. Users can zoom into the images to study individual pieces of data, or zoom out to see items grouped according to certain criteria. Data collections can contain a few images with static data attached, or they can be large and connected to a feed of changing data. Pivot is based on Microsoft’s Seadragon, software designed for manipulating large amounts of visual information. Users can make their own collections of data by converting images to the Deep Zoom format used by Seadragon, and annotate them using a format based on extensible markup language. Pivot also could provide a better way to sort through Internet search results, because users could sort through thousands of results visually, instead of just looking a list of the top 10 search results.
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