time travel is now possible on webpages

Via Dennis, who calls this “One step closer to Nerdvana,” this video at Technology Review, which explains the new tool Zoetrope. Zoetrope allows a user to view how a webpage, or even part of a webpage, changes over time. According to the Technology Review article:

A user can peer back in time through Zoetrope in several ways. Simply pulling a scrollbar at the bottom of the browser winds a Web page back to show what it looked like hours, days, or months ago. Or, if the user is interested in one specific piece of information, like the price of a certain product, he or she can draw a “lens” over that area of the page to see how it changes.

An experienced user can perform even more-advanced analysis. For example, configured correctly, Zoetrope will recognize a price as it goes up or down and will show the results as a graph. It’s also possible to draw lenses on different websites and sync them in order to carry out a historical comparison. For example, a user could use one lens to track weather information and another lens to track movie-attendance figures. Looking at how both lenses change over time might reveal a correlation between bad weather and high movie turnout. Zoetrope can also track some pieces of data as they move about a page over time.


(I wish the Technology Review folks used a video service that allowed easily embedded videos. How pre-Web2.0!)

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2 Responses to time travel is now possible on webpages

  1. Dennis says:

    My guess is that they’re feeling proprietary about it. Some Brightcove videos can be embedded.

    I’m actually sort of waiting for Eric to come along and tell me I’m an idiot for not figuring out how to embed it.

    Also, can I just reiterate how blown away I was by the video? Yes? Thanks.

  2. Eric Stoller says:

    Eric who? šŸ˜›

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