PhotoMesa Image Browser

Read the article in the Baltimore Sun
Or older ones on the Java website or Washington Post


Now free from
Windsor Interfaces, Inc.


Version 3.1

Project description:

PhotoMesa is a zoomable image browser.  It allows the user to view multiple directories of images in a zoomable environment, and uses a set of simple navigation mechanisms to move through the space of images.  It also supports grouping of images by metadata available from the file system.  It requires only a set of images on disk, and does not require the user to add any metadata, or manipulate the images at all before browsing, thus making it easy to get started with existing images.

PhotoMesa goes further by also adding rich support for annotation and search. Combined with an interface that lets you concentrate on images, not the interface, you can easily manage thousands of photos.

PhotoMesa introduces a new layout algorithms - Quantum Treemaps to layout the images on the screen, using space efficiently while showing the groups the images are in.

PhotoMesa is built using HCIL's Piccolo.NET Toolkit for Zoomable User Interfaces.


Ben Bederson, Director of HCIL, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of Maryland
Bongwon Suh, Graduate Research Assistant at HCIL, Ph.D. Student of Computer Science, University of Maryland
Hyunmo Kang, Ph.D., Faculty Research Assistant at HCIL


Bederson, B. B. (2001). PhotoMesa: A Zoomable Image Browser Using Quantum Treemaps and Bubblemaps. UIST 2001, ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, CHI Letters, 3(2), pp. 71-80.

Bederson, B. B., Shneiderman, B., & Wattenberg, M. (2002) Ordered and Quantum Treemaps: Making Effective Use of 2D Space to Display Hierarchies, ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG), 21, (4), October 2002, pp. 833-854.



PhotoMesa is now available commercially through Windsor Interfaces with a free trial download available.

=> Download PhotoMesa Now!

Layout algorithms also available for download.

Related sites

See the HCIL PhotoFinder project.

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