Adobe's come up with an application that lets users look at past versions of Web pages or sections of pages and perform complex comparisons of various data, such as exchange rates or gas prices over time. A scroll bar at the bottom of the screen allows you to scroll backwards in time. So, for example, if you were on the WhatIs.com home page, you could scroll backwards to see what the Word of the Day was yesterday, check out the Overheard in the Blogosphere quote and the trivia and Writing for Business questions. You can also perform more complicated research and explore correlation among varying factors over time.
Here's a video demo:
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/7C-B7qdClak" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
Erica Naone wrote about Zoetrope for MIT’s Technology Review. As Naone points out, the historical data will have to be available for the system to maintain it. That’s a lot of data and it will take a while to amass.
Zoetrope isn’t available as a download yet but it could be pretty useful when it is. It’s not yet known whether it will be released as a standalone application or will be a browser component.