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Visual Browser is a Java application that can visualise the data in RDF scheme. The main principle of the visualisation is that:
- the triple (resource, resource, resource) is represented by two nodes connected by an edge
- the triple (resource, resource, literal) is represented by a hint (small window appearing on mouse over the subject node)
Visual Browser uses the Jena framework to obtain the data, since the RDF scheme can be saved in different forms (a single XML file or a relational database).
The graph is animated to create an impression of fixed points (nodes) and elastic connections (edges). The main advantage of this method is that one node can be connected to a large number of other nodes without solving the problem of nodes obscuring their neighbours.
The user interface allows the user to expand and hide nodes, switch the view of edges and display hints. At any moment only a small part of the network is focused. Therefore the risk of getting the user “lost in hyperspace” is minimized.