Information Today
Volume 18, Issue 5 — May 2001
Table of Contents Previous Issues Subscribe Now! ITI Home Systems Launches Its Visual Net Web Site Systems, Inc., a developer of visual network maps, has announced the launch of its public Web site (, an integrated "continent-sized" map of the Internet. This site, a showcase for's Visual Net product, represents sites and subject categories visually and enables users to explore the Web in 2-D and 3-D. Led by XML co-inventor Tim Bray, sees Visual Net as the next step in the evolution of how people and companies access and share information on the Internet, enterprise intranets, and extranets, according to the announcement.

"People have gotten used to seeing the Net through the tiny, unsatisfying lens of search engines," said Bray,'s CEO and founder. "While the engines are getting smarter, nobody would describe Web navigation as either efficient or fun. offers a productive and enjoyable public Web site that gives people a view of the whole Net and lets them use it in a way that is consistent with the everyday world they live in."

The showcase maps the category structure of the entire Web onto one screen. The basic data is scoured from Netscape/AOL's Open Directory Project ( and is enhanced by's proprietary technology. At the heart of the technology is's Visual Net product, which plots and diagrams hundreds of thousands of subject categories and millions ofWeb sites on 2-D and 3-D maps that communicate not only the categories, but also the sizes of the sites, their popularity, and their quality of service.

According to the announcement, the 3-D experience immerses users in a video-game-like environment, allowing them to walk around the Web and look at sites in great detail without having to actually visit them—thus resulting in more efficient navigation. In addition, each of the 300,000 categories includes a chat capability, enabling users to connect with dynamic communities of shared interests. is fully internationalized, containing thousands of categories and hundreds of thousands of sites in many different languages.

The showcase Web site is free to the public. Enterprise network mapping projects are delivered on an ASP basis, and fees vary depending on the size and complexity of the data.

Source: Systems, Inc., Vancouver, BC, Canada, 360/668-5929;

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