SpaceTree: a novel node-link tree browser
SpaceTree is a novel tree browser that builds on the conventional layout node link diagrams along a single preferred
direction. It adds dynamic rescaling of branches of the tree to best fit the available screen space, optimized
camera movement, and the use of preview icons summarizing the topology of the branches that cannot be expanded. In
addition, it includes integrated search and filter functions. This paper reflects on the evolution of the design and
highlights the principles that emerged from it. A controlled experiment showed benefits for navigation tasks to
already previously visited nodes and estimation of overall tree topology.
Grosjean, Faculty Research Assistant and main
Plaisant, Associate Research Scientist, HCIL
Bederson, Assistant Professor, Computer Science
Watch the 2002 video uploaded on YouTube:
SpaceTree is one of the HCIL
Products available for licensing by the
of Technology Commercialization at the University of Maryland.
Please read the licensing terms carefully and register first. This will
lead you to the download area. By downloading SpaceTree, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of the
SpaceTree Noncommercial Use License. If you need more information on licensing
SpaceTree and its source code please contact the Office of Technology Commercialisation.
(Java application, requires Java 1.4) - 1.9 Mg - April. 2003
Video demo of version 1.1(orgchart) 5.6 Mg
Video demo of version 1.1 (find planaria) 2.7 Mg
Warning: As of 2020 the Java Applets do not run on web browsers for security reasons.
We have been successful running them by installing a google chrome extension called
CheerpJ Applet Runner.
APPLET DEMO (requires Java 1.4 - partial demo - still runs as of July 2014)
Java Web Start Demo (Probably cannot work anymore... Requires Java 1.4 and Java Web Start installed on your computer.) .
Publications and reports:
Plaisant, C., Grosjean, J., Bederson, B.,
SpaceTree: Supporting Exploration in Large Node Link Tree,
Design Evolution and Empirical Evaluation
Procedings of IEEE Symposium on Information Visualization, 2002 (57 -64), Boston, October 2002
Download all experiment materials:
Sponsors and Partners:
This project is supported
in part by and
The animal taxonomy data was provided by the University of Michigan Museum of
Zoology Animal Diversity Web www.animaldiversity.org
Other relevant HCIL pages
TreePlus provides a very readable way to navigate graphs represented as trees.
A variation of spacetree (see this blog entry) for diversity