The Evolution of the Web

This is so gorgeous, I couldn’t wait until tomorrow to write about it. Hyperakt has created a beautiful, interactive application that showcases the Evolution of the Web, specifically browser and web based technologies. The explanation from the site:

The web today is a growing universe of interlinked web pages and web apps, teeming with videos, photos, and interactive content. What the average user doesn’t see is the interplay of web technologies and browsers that makes all this possible.

Over time web technologies have evolved to give web developers the ability to create new generations of useful and immersive web experiences. Today’s web is a result of the ongoing efforts of an open web community that helps define these web technologies, like HTML5, CSS3 and WebGL and ensure that they’re supported in all web browsers.

The color bands in this visualization represent the interaction between web technologies and browsers, which brings to life the many powerful web apps that we use daily.

The app scrolls open to reveal a timeline with your favorite browser badge at the appropriate spot on the continuum. Click on the badge and get more information about it. The app comes in several languages and there is an incredible breadth of information available if you click all the links. The take-away is that a whole lot has happened in web development in a relatively short time – and development appears to be moving faster all the time. Can you imagine the infographic  / visual application needed to document this information in ten more years?

Happy browsing!

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Timesaving Tip: Your Smartphone Cam + i2OCR

Just the other day, a colleague and I spent a couple of hours hashing out new content for our page on our company’s portal. We took full advantage of the whiteboard running the entire length of the conference room and, by the time we were done, we had decorated most of the wall with our scratch. One of the VPs walked by, took a look at the board and, with a chuckle, asked “How in the world are you going to get all THAT down on paper?”

Well, being the problem-solver that I am, I asked my colleague to snap pictures of the wall with his smartphone (can you BELIEVE I didn’t have my phone on me?). I then told him to run the images through an OCR (optical character recognition) app. A day later, I found i2OCR.

iOCR2 is a free, online OCR application that extracts text from images and turns it into an editable document. It supports a whole crowd of image file types, including all the usual suspects (.tif, .gif, .jpg, .png, .bmp, etc.). Simply browse your computer for the file or enter a URL and hit the big red CONVERT button. It can read 33 languages, and supports multi-column formats. The site assures that uploaded files are automatically deleted on conversion. The site does recommend at least 200 dpi for better recognition. So easy, and totally free.

As if this wasn’t enough, the clever folks at Sciweaver responsible for i2OCR have a lot of other cool conversion and merge tools for documents and images. Check them out:

Sciweavers themselves is a pretty cool group. Apparently, it is an academic bookmarking network that aggregates links to research paper preprints. The idea is to promote top-ranked papers, with the goal of promoting valuable work and improve the visibility of significant authors. Head over to their About  page to check out the tons of other free online tools they offer.
See, now, Ms. VP. Where there is a will, there is ALWAYS a way. 😉