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.
- List of Wikipedia mobile applications – 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. The Wall Street Journal. (subscription required) 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/