WikiNodes is an app for the Apple iPad built by IDEA.org. WikiNodes was the first tablet app for browsing Wikipedia using a radial tree approach to visualize how articles and subsections of articles are interrelated. The app displays related items (articles or sections of an article), which spread on the screen, as a spiderweb of icons.
The app uses the SpicyNodes visualization technique which was awarded a "best for teaching and learning" award in 2011 from American Association of School Librarians (AASL), and voted #edchat's 35 Best Web 2.0 Classroom Tools in 2010.
The user interface is based on two display modes:
- Page view -- displays Wikipedia articles in long form, similar to how they appear on the main Wikipedia web site.
- Node view -- divides Wikipedia articles into sections, and links articles to related articles, similar to mind mapping. The user can drag nodes, taps any node to display it in detail, with a panel to scroll to read the contents of the section. This provides a visual way to see the relationships between articles.
As of June 2011, the app supports the 36 top Wikipedia languages (by number of articles).
The app was highlighted as a "Staff pick" by Apple's U.S. App Store, Week of May 28, 2011; as "New and Noteworthy" by Apple's U.S. App Store, Week of May 5, 2011; and at other times by Apple's app stores for non-US countries. It has been favorably covered by several bloggers, including those in the references below.
- Wikipedia iOS apps - Other iOS mobile apps providing access to Wikipedia
- Radial tree - the general type of layout algorithm
- SpicyNodes - Information visualization technique
- Wikipedia's 'The Signpost' 13 June 2011, In the news.
- Mossberg, Walt. "Encyclopaedia Britannica Now Fits Into an App." 28-September-2011. Wall Street Journal. The article mentions WikiNodes, while discussing the Britannica app, noting that "This kind of visual array of related items isn’t a new idea. In fact, there is an iPad app called WikiNodes which does something similar for Wikipedia content."
- AASL. June 2011. Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning.
- edudemic.com, "The 35 Best Web 2.0 Classroom Tools Chosen By You" (August July 2010).
- WikiNodes: app that presents a keyword to a word association game. Ideal for expedition Wikipedia! (Japanese) AppBank
- "The interface presentation of information [is] similar to that of mind mapping, which I love." - Jess Seilheimer, Digilicious
- "The interface is a freestyle drag and zoom bonanza that lets you jump between related articles easily." - iPad Apps
- "[WikiNodes]...could redefine the way that you use Wikipedia on the iOS." - Blake Grundman, 148Apps
- "WikiNodes takes the huge sprawling maze of information that is Wikipedia and organizes it into a spider web of knowledge." - Phil Hornshaw, Yahoo! News & Appolicious
- To see history of prior features in the Apple app store, adjust the date on this App Annie page
- WikiNodes for iPad – Making Wikipedia Fun to Explore by Patrick Jordan on May 11, 2011 / http://ipadinsight.com/ipad-app-reviews/wikinodes-for-ipad-making-wikipedia-fun-to-explore/