Exploratory Search and Content Discovery: The Semantic Media Browser (SMB)
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In the age of broadband Internet and social media, users are faced with the need to adapt to an unprecedented flood of continuous information. The growing necessity of search and discovery solutions has inspired innovative technologies like better search algorithms, adaptive filtering or recommender systems. Innovations in knowledge and data engineering are still a challenge for new interaction concepts and effective user interfaces (UI). How do users with poor familiarity within a domain of interest search and discover relevant things they do not know yet? How can we integrate search, navigation and consumption in a fluent user experience that both reduces complexity and presents overview of interrelated content on multiple dimensions. In this paper, we present the Semantic Media Browser (SMB), an interaction concept and an interface system for exploratory search and media discovery, as a possible answer to these questions. We describe a system that is a universal visualizing and browsing solution in one. It aims to enable non-expert users to discover more with less effort in an intrinsically motivating manner. In this paper we highlight specifics of our visual mapping and interaction approach as well as the technical design of the system.