WikiGalaxy is French engineering student Owen Cornec’s reimagining of how we view and consume information – specifically Wikipedia pages. The project takes each individual entry on the online encyclopedia and plots it as a star in a virtual galaxy, that you can navigate from the comfort of your sofa.
Wikipedia provides a service that many of us make use of on a daily basis, but when you’re viewing individual entries, it’s easy to forget the sheer scale of information on offer. The beta of WikiGalaxy, which you can view right now if you’re using the Chrome browser (it also works on Firefox), provides a more tangible visualization of that information, and while it might not be the most intuitive way to assimilate, it’s certainly a fascinating one.
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The beta of the project contains 100,000 articles, or stars, which the user can navigate from either a top-down or fly-through perspective. You can search topics just like you usually would, though due to the limited nature of the beta, you often won’t be able to get to the page you’re looking for. Once you’ve selected an available article, yellow tendrils will extend to related topics, making it easy to dig deeper or read around a topic.
The virtual galaxy of crowd-driven articles was created using HTML5, CS33, WebGL, jQuery and THREE.js, and while it’s a little clunky to use at present, it’ll likely become smoother as development continues. Cornec intends to employ a color-coding system in the future, grouping articles into broad topics, and even has plans to add Oculus Rift support.
Check out the video below for a closer look a WikiGalaxy, or head through the first source link to try it out for yourself.