TreeViz (TM) for Macintosh

TreeViz (TM) is a Macintosh implementation of the Treemap concept. The first of a new generation of information visualization tools was unveiled by the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory at the University of Maryland. After 2 years of development the algorithms that permit color presentation of hierarchical structures have now been converted into a program for viewing all of the files and directories on a Machintosh hard disk.

Click on the image above to retrieve an 1112x760 (96K) life-size snapshot of the TreeViz (TM) interface into your external viewer.

Each file appears as a rectangle whose size is proportional to the file size, enabling users to spot large files at any level in the hierarchy. TreeViz (TM) uses color to show file type, e.g. text, picture, application, etc. By pointing and clicking a rectangle, TreeViz users can bring up detailed information about nodes such as filename, path, creation date, etc.

Other options include sound, which offers an additional dimension of data revelation. Users can hear the directories and files as they are displayed or hear patterns by dragging the mouse. Various scaling factors, nesting offsets, depth controls, shape adjustments, shading, and size controls complete the list of TreeViz features.

The original concept for TreeViz was developed by Dr. Ben Shneiderman, Professor of Computer Science in response to the common problem of a filled hard disk. Since the hard disk in the HCIL was shared by over a dozen users it was difficult to determine how and where disk space was used. Finding large files that could be deleted, or even determining which users consumed the largest shares of disk space were difficult tasks. Finding an effective visualization strategy took only a few months, but producing a working piece of software took over a year. Brian Johnson implemented the algorithms and refined the presentation strategies while preserving rapid performance even with 5,000 node hierarchies. The TreeViz application runs on all color Macintosh models.

TreeViz is available by FTP at