HistoryTime: A Chrome history visualization using WebGL

Roman Püngüntzky2
HistoryTime: A Chrome history visualization using WebGL
[thesis]

Information

Abstract

Even though modern web browsers offer history functionalities, only few people use it to re-visit previously visited websites. In this thesis we present HistoryTime, a 3D visualization of the Google Chrome browser history. The goal of this project was to visualize the content of a user’s web browsing history in an aesthetic way, as well as to increase the general motivation to use it. We developed a 3-dimensional, visually appealing extension for Google Chrome that offers various possibilities, sorting-modes and browsing-functionalities which should make exploring and searching for websites in the history more pleasant to use. The data is retrieved via the Chrome history API exclusively, and visualized in a WebGL environment using the three.js JavaScript 3D library.

The prototype of HistoryTime was tested and compared to the standard Google Chrome browser history in the scope of a small user study. The results indicated that our extension offered a better usability overall, and also allowed to solve certain tasks that were not possible with the standard history.

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BibTeX

@bachelorsthesis{puenguentzky-2014-ht,
  title =      "HistoryTime: A Chrome history visualization using WebGL",
  author =     "Roman P{"u}ng{"u}ntzky2",
  year =       "2014",
  abstract =   "Even though modern web browsers offer history
               functionalities, only few people use it to re-visit
               previously visited websites. In this thesis we present
               HistoryTime, a 3D visualization of the Google Chrome browser
               history. The goal of this project was to visualize the
               content of a user’s web browsing history in an aesthetic
               way, as well as to increase the general motivation to use
               it. We developed a 3-dimensional, visually appealing
               extension for Google Chrome that offers various
               possibilities, sorting-modes and browsing-functionalities
               which should make exploring and searching for websites in
               the history more pleasant to use. The data is retrieved via
               the Chrome history API exclusively, and visualized in a
               WebGL environment using the three.js JavaScript 3D library. 
               The prototype of HistoryTime was tested and compared to the
               standard Google Chrome browser history in the scope of a
               small user study. The results indicated that our extension
               offered a better usability overall, and also allowed to
               solve certain tasks that were not possible with the standard
               history.",
  month =      nov,
  address =    "Favoritenstrasse 9-11/186, A-1040 Vienna, Austria",
  school =     "Institute of Computer Graphics and Algorithms, Vienna
               University of Technology",
  URL =        "https://www.cg.tuwien.ac.at/research/publications/2014/puenguentzky-2014-ht/",
}