What's that you're doing there, Mr. Wienczny?

Stephan Wienczny (26) is part of the liquidFOLDERS team since May 2009. He studies computer sciences at the University of Applied Sciences in Dortmund (Germany), and has been working with liquidFOLDERS in a project on file visualization. Said project is the basis of his bachelor thesis in progress.

After accomplishing his B.Sc. degree, Stephan will continue to study and aims for a M.Sc. in computer sciences.

What's that you're doing there, Mr. Wienczny?
“I'm working on the globe view of liquidFOLDERS. This view will place files on a 3D globe in regard to their tagged location. When you click on a place, all files that refer to the place are displayed by liquidFOLDERS. This feature is not for pictures only, but for all kinds of different file formats.”
What is neccessary to create such a view module?
“First, you need a 3D model of the earth. To get there, a geometric sphere is broken down into many small triangles, a process called ‘tesselation’. Each corner gets associated with a location on the earth's surface. The completed 3D model is embedded into liquidFOLDERS. When the user chooses the globe view, the 3D framework OpenGL is used to render the model using the graphic card's hardware acceleration. Each triangle is filled using the appropriate part of the surface texture. Modern graphic cards implement all neccessary features in hardware, so even very big and complex objects can be displayed fast and realistically. Depending on size, high end cards render up to half a billion triangles—per second, that is!”
Where's the texture from?
“The texture is called ‘Blue Marble’ and is provided by NASA's Earth Observatory. The map has been rendered from some thousand satellite images. It is a publically funded project, so anyone is free to use the results if a copyright notice is provided.”
What's the bottom line for users?
Geotagging is big right now, so it has to be supported by our software! But we're going the extra mile: liquidFOLDERS employs the latest technologies to visualize geotags. We don't offer this for photos only, but because liquidFOLDERS is a true relational file system, geotagging works with all kinds of files! For example, as a company you can tag emails, notes and all other documents in regard to the location of their office branches.”