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Semantic Zoom

Short Definition:

Means more or less information is shown on demand (such as headings only or abstract) in semantically meaningful ‘jumps’ rather than in smooth visual gradation.

Long Definition:

“Every object visible on the screen has a magnification that depends upon the sequence of portals it is being seen through. As the magnification of an object changes, the user generally finds it useful to see different types of information about that object. For example, when a text document is small on the screen the user may only want to see its title. As the object is magnified, this may be augmented by a short summary or outline. At some point the entire text is revealed. We call this semantic zooming.”

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Related websites:

Introduction by Microsoft

More definitions

Introduction Paper

as opposed to – visual zoom

Published in[Glossary Term]


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