A Metro Map Metaphor for Guided Tours on the Web: The Webvise Guided Tour System

Elmer S. Sandvad, Kaj Grønbæk, Lennert Sloth, Jørgen Lindskov Knudsen


This paper presents a guided tour system for the WWW. It is a module for the Webvise open hypermedia system that implements the ideas of trails and guided tours, originating from the hypertext field. Webvise appears as an open hypermedia helper application to the user and stores the guided tours in an XML format called OHIF separated from the WWW documents included in the tour. The main advantages of the system are: (1) a browser independent format in terms of HTML and PNG-based image maps for reading the guided tours; (2) support for a familiar metaphor namely, a metro route map; (3) overview maps and route maps with indication of which stations of a tour have been visited; and finally (4) support for arbitrary web pages as stations on the tour. The paper discusses the Webvise Guided Tour System and illustrates its use in a digital library portal. The system is compared to other recent Web-based guided tour systems, and it is argued that Webvise Guided Tour System solves a number of prior system problems.


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