Merz

Merz (1993-1996) was a prototype system for knowledge visualization and personal information management on the internet initiated by Michael Century.

Merz

illustration from paper about Merz (1996)

Merz was an environment which supported knowledge work, personal information management and collaboration on the WWW. As a user gathered information by browsing and querying, a local database of metadata was built, serving as a basis for creating Merzbaus: visual representations of documents and links. The user interface was characterised by filtering and semantic zooming. Instead of having to classify objects into hierarchies and folders, users could successively add keywords to the metadata records for objects and links and create multiple, filtered views of information. Categorised objects could be moved to parallel, more organised Merzbaus, e.g., corresponding to specific projects. Users could personalise Merzbaus by rearranging icons, creating links, and by entering hand-written marks. Collaboration was supported by means of publishing Merzbaus to a WWW-MOO server for other users to access. Merz was implemented in JAVA.

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