From the post:
Researchers have created a next-generation zoom function to view and compare portions of complex graphics such as scientific images, city maps or pages of text. The new tool, PolyZoom, makes it possible to simultaneously magnify many parts of a graphic without losing sight of the original picture.
“With standard programs, once you zoom in, you lose perspective and have to zoom out again to see that bigger picture,” said Niklas Elmqvist, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University. “This new tool maintains your perspective or orientation.”
The zoomed-in regions appear as separate pullout boxes displayed next to each other. These boxes, or “correlated graphics,” allow the user to see where the magnified viewpoints are located in relation to each other and the whole.
“The tool is useful if you are trying to compare different spaces on a map, like the city centers of two major metropolitan areas, segments of a Hubble Space Telescope picture or even pages in a lengthy document,” said Elmqvist, who is working with doctoral students Waqas Javed and Sohaib Ghani. “Say you are a historian looking at a large collection of scanned pages from a book. You might want to zoom into a particular page and read the words, or look at many pages at the same time and compare those.
“This new tool maintains your perspective or orientation.” (emphasis added)
When you think about it, that happens a lot, loss of perspective or orientation. In a reading context i would say I “lost” my place in the text.
Web browsers allow you to tab but that isn’t the same. Can open new “windows” but they are cluttered with all the navigation crap. Would be nice to have resizable panes with scroll bars that you could “pin” to locations on your screen. Seen anything like that recently?
You can see the paper on this technique: https://engineering.purdue.edu/~elm/projects/polyzoom/polyzoom.pdf
Or try out a demo: http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~wjaved/projects/stackZoom