Grad student Jack Kustanowitz received the Best Student Paper Award at the ACM/IEEE
Joint Conference on Digital Libraries, for this work on photo layouts.

An additional paper relating to this work was published in IEEE Multimedia (October 2006).

Project Description

BRQLayer is an application designed to generate Bi-level Radial Quantum (BRQ) layouts, which consist of a primary region surrounded by any number of secondary regions (four, in the picture on the left).  The thumbnails resize and the regions shift around dynamically as the layout is resized, and as the primary region is moved and/or sized. It is an extension of the Kaleidoscope described in the Snapshots project.   Download BRQLayer
100KB (binary Windows executable)

Download source
Source code is provided as a reference implementation, and may be freely reused with attribution.

To get an overview of the project, watch the video describing the BRQLayer project (28MB), which was featured at the HCIL 22nd annual Symposium & Open House.

Several applications are envisioned for BRQLayer.  For personal photo collections, it provides a way to show a primary image surrounded by groups of photos that are related to that photo:

BRQLayer could generate interesting "summary" composites that reflect a trip or other set of grouped photos, in this case a trip through Italy:

In a commercial setting, a web site could have a central region with a logo or selection criteria, surrounded by photos that reflect those criteria.  For example, a real estate web site could have photos of homes in a given price range, grouped by location.  The layout will dynamically resize and the thumbnails will grow as large as possible as the browser window is resized.

Finally, the primary region does not need to be in the center.  Left- and corner- layouts could resemble these:


Other possibilities for extensions of this work include three-level hierarchies:

and non-quantum, continuous layouts:

For comments or questions about the BRQLayer project, email Jack Kustanowitz (jkustan at



A listing of HCIL and other photolibrary-related publications

Sponsors and Partners

Current research in this area was partially funded by Adobe Systems.

Related Sites

See for other photo-related projects in HCIL at Maryland.

Last update: November 1, 2006.

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