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Navigation Tips


Navigation through Science for the Millennium has presented us with a design challenge. There is a whole lot of material to get immersed in, plus there are plenty of links from our site to numerous other sites scattered throughout the Internet, so the danger of getting a bit disoriented is quite real. We've built in a number of features to help you get around the exhibits and prevent you getting "lost in cyberspace." If you're an experienced cyberspace surfer, then there'll be no surprises below. If you're a "relative" novice, taking the time now to read through the tips below could save you some frustration later on.

"Building Locators"

If you look at the top of this page, you'll notice that there are two lines of text:

Now let's say you were to "surf" over to the Pavilion of Science and Industry and visit the exhibit called "Spacetime Wrinkles" Notice how the locator changes to read "Expo/Science & Industry/Spacetime Wrinkles" Or maybe you want to check out the exhibit entitled "Introducing Virtual Environments" in the Online Science Theater. The locator then reads "Expo/Theater/Virtual Environments. As long as you see a locator reading "Expo/.." at the top of the page, you'll know your still surfing within our server domain.

Once you no longer see the locator, well....it's up to you how much further you travel into the great electronic yonder, but the more links you click on out there, the less are chances of finding you're way back!

Exhibit Maps

We've no doubt that the maps we've created will definitely help you avoid getting lost. Each exhibit has its own "hot-spotted" map showing the overall content flow and allowing you to access any of the documents in an exhibit at will. These maps are accessible from the exhibit home pages, and you can peruse all the exhibit maps in the Directory within the Information Center.

Also, there are links at the top and bottom of most of the documents that will take you back to the map for the exhibit you're currently exploring. Note that if you do find yourself on one of those pages without a map link, normally you'll be but one step away from the map links embedded in the parent document.

Lastly, don't forget the Science Expo Map. It shows the relationship of all the "buildings." This map too is "hot-spotted" -- clicking on a particular building will take you to its "entrance" - where you'll find a listing of the main exhibits "housed" within.

Navigation Links

back arrow

back arrow

up arrow

In addition to the standard Back and Forward buttons provided by your browser, we've inserted our own Return and Forward arrows at the bottom of each document, except the Home Pages. Up arrows will take to you back up one level the hypertext hierarchy.

We've also inserted Back and/or Forward and/or Up text anchors at the top of most of the exhibit documents -- a helpful feature if you want to move onto another page without having to scroll down to the bottom of the present document.

Movie Windows

High amplitude disturbance: close-up with "height mapping"
Distorted BH6 ismap
QuickTime (2.1 MB); MPEG (399K); Sound (1.1 MB); Thumbnail (22K); Text

Scientific movies or overview video presentations are presented through a standard movie interface or "window, " that is hotspotted. The "hot-spotted" window offers four options. Clicking on the buttons will take you to a QuickTime or MPEG movie, or Soundfile or text document.

Michael Norman, NCSA/Univ. of Illinois, on-camera
Movie/Sound Byte
QuickTime Movie (4.6 MB); Sound File (2.3 MB); Text

On-camera videobytes, however, only offer two three options: QuickTime; Soundfile; and Text.

QuickTime Button

Often these movies have an accompanying soundtrack. If your running QuickTime on a Mac or QuickTime for Windows on a PC, and depending on your network connectivity, we recommend that you play these movies rather than the MPEGs.

MPEG Button

MPEG, which stands for Motion Picture Experts Group, is a standard format for compression of video and audio information. The MPEG movies offered here are MPEG-1 and contain NO audio track. If your browsing these exhibits on an X or Unix platform, we recommend you view the MPEGs rather than the QuickTime movies, UNLESS you're computer is configured to play QuickTime and the necessary video and audio hardware and software has already been installed.

Soundfile Button

Digital audio of narration or on-camera videobytes are offered as AIFF files (22,050 Hz; 16 bit mono). To listen to these audio clips, you'll need an appropriate player for the computer platform you're using .

Text Button

Clicking on this will link you to the text of the narration, on-camera videobyte or a caption explaining the movie (along with credit and copyright information in some instances).


Clicking on the central portion of the movie window will take you to a series of thumbnails or still-frames from the movie you're selecting. These thumbnails will give you a sense of how the visuals change in the movie.

If you view the thumbnails together with reading the text, you'll get a pretty good idea of what the movie shows and tells, without having to download it. If you're visiting our site via a modem rather than a direct Internet connection, we recommend you view the thumbnails and text rather than downloading movies, which owing to their large filesizes, can take quite some time to download.

Text anchors for some or all the above choices are available immediately below the movie window. Note the filesizes that are included in brackets. Knowing filesizes is helpful in deciding whether or not to download a clip.

Technical information on browsers, helper applications, connectivity and download times is provided in the Technical Corner.

If you experience any navigation or technical problems, please let us know by mailing us at expo@ncsa.uiuc.edu or filling out the Technical Scorecard.

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Copyright 1995, The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois

NCSA, 11/120/95.