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Qwiki: An Awesome Wikipedia Web App That Plays Content Like a Video

Qwiki is a revolutionary user interface of Wikipedia. It pulls content from Wikipedia but re-packaged them in an interactive and media-rich way.

After you performed a search, you’ve got a voice annotation that reads out an introduction about the topic you searched for. The first paragraph of the Wiki entry is read out loud by a nice voice (text-to-speech). Just like watching TV you can choose to turn on / off subtitles.

While the annotation plays, images are shown one by one with smooth transition effects, just like playing a slide presentation. If you click on an image, it enlarges and the annotation is paused. Finish viewing the image you would be taken back to the annotation where you paused.

From left to right: Related, Volume, Subtitles and Fullscreen

I like surfing the net on my TV. Web apps with a TV-friendly user interface and full screen mode is always my favourite (read my blog post about turning a Chromebook into a DIY Google TV). In Qwiki the player control is similar to YouTube. There is a full screen mode, absolutely marvelous on TV.

When the interactive presentation is over, you would be brought to a list of related wiki entries. If you so wish, you can choose to search for this term in Wikipedia, Goole, YouTube and fotopedia. And you get the usual share buttons that are found in all modern web sites.

Read full introduction in my web app review blog.

Wikihood - Combines Wikipedia and Google Maps, a new way to explore history and geography

Wikihood combines Wikipedia and Google Maps to teach us history and geography.

A search in Wikihood gives two results together. I tried Shirakami-Sanchi, a beautiful UNESCO heritage site in Japan. On the left is the result from Wikipedia, on the right is Google Maps directed to the place you searched for.

Clicking on the brief introduction on the Wikipedia pane brings up a extended tab on the right showing relevant entries. These related topics are grouped under “Person” and “Culture”. You can find more about these related topics by clicking on them.

On the right pane, you may find marks surrounding the location you searched for. These are the landmarks in that region. Click on them to bring up relevant Wikipedia topics on the left pane.

Cross using these two panes, you can explore a place’s culture, history and geography. If you use location-enabled devices, Wikihood could show you knowledge about the place where you are. This is most useful for travelers. Forget about Lonely Planet, you have a much more resourceful guidebook. Wikihood has an iPad app, I think it definitely makes iPad a great travel companion.

Read more in my web app review blog.
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