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Let's suppose I have some application where users around the world can submit pictures corresponding to a geographic location and date and time.

I want people to be able to browse these pictures, filtering by location and date.

Here's a mockup of historical pictures (between 60 B.C. to 1050 A.D.) from the a mediterranean region being selected.

There are several things that this design does not address. For example,

  • There is no fine control over the date and time. Filtering between 5:00 PM June 30, 1993 and 7:45 AM July 2, 1993 would be very difficult using a slider.
  • You do not have a good idea of what sorts of images there are at a glance, since you have to click on a marker in order to see an image.
  • It is possible for hundreds of images to correspond to the same location, which breaks the 1-marker-1-photo correspondence.

What is a good design for browsing images by location and time?

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Perhaps once they've set the filters for the date period and for the geographical location you can show all the image available in a standard grid layout, as used by Google, Bing, etc. –  RedSirius Dec 4 '13 at 9:47

1 Answer 1

Peter,

How does the user know the time to filter by ? or geo location ?

At core I would see that the filteration process is secondary. The use cares about the pictures. They have to use filters to get to the right picture, so it's a means to the goal. So put the pictures front and center in your design and put less emphasis on your design.

If the user is expected to know the time and location, then provide a way to enter it using text fields or similar controls. If they do not know the exact time and location and are trying to find certain kinds of pictures, then you have to ask what will help them find the time and location and make that a part of the filters.

if you can add more details about user scenarios and goals, one could try and assess possible mental models to which the design needs to align.

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