Benchmarks and Best Practices Index

Guidelines for this part of the course can be found here . This page is where you post a link to the results.

Table of Contents


Automatic Linguistic Indexing of pictures
Image search provided by major search engines such as Google, MSN, and Yahoo! relies on textual descriptions of images found on the Web pages containing the images and the file names of the images. These search engines do not analyze the pixel content of images and hence cannot be used to search unannotated image collections. Fully computerized or computer-assisted annotation of images by words is a crucial technology to ensure the “visibility” of images on the Internet, due to the complex and fragmented nature of the networked communities. more...


Bebo is multimedia social networking site. It is best described as a form of Facebook devoted to sharing pictures, video and music. more...

The Bikechain is an emerging student-run bicycle facility and resource centre on the UofT campus that encourages the usage of bikes and provides on-campus bike maintenance and repairs. more...

BrandNoise Website
This is a website that brings to light consumer behaviour in relation to product branding. more...

Bouf Superboutique
An online boutique for unique, often handcrafted products directly from the artists/designers that create them. more...

Bucharest Transport "Online Journal" T.V. Screen System.
In 2005 a pilot project was launched on Bus Route 71 in Bucharest Transit. A TV screen system was implemented on this route, which presents important transit information for commuters, points of interest at various bus stops, as well as news supplements for transit enjoyment. A translation of a blog comment about this system can be found on the Bucharest Transit Blog.


Carbon Control Website
Climate change is one of the greatest problems facing the world, with the potential to cause massive environmental and economic damage unless something is done. This website is aimed at raising awareness among school children that they too can reduce their carbon emissions, and can play their part in heading off the threat of climate change. more...

An online community focused on the sharing, study, and cataloging of colour schemes and trends. more...

"Craigslist" is a community based website which features classified postings for jobs, housing, goods, services, dating, and local activities, as well as several community forums that can be accessed by citizens across the world. "Craigslist" was created in 1995, and originally catered to the city of San Fransisco. Since its creation it has expanded to host local networks for 450 cities worldwide. "Craigslist" is a hugely successful community moderated site, and more than 30 million users log onto the site each month.

Creative Outdoor Advertising
A company that makes the most of your outdoor ads and maximizes ad space.

D (pronounced “delicious”) is a web service for bookmarking, storing, and commenting on website bookmarks. more...

Digg - Data Visualization Model
The website started out as a web experiment in 2004. The concept behind Digg was to create a community-based website that would index interesting links and articles based on popularity. Digg - Data Visualization Models

Digital Interactive Signage
Could the future of advertisements be leading to digital interactive ads? more...

The Daily Plate
The Daily plate is an website geared primarily towards dieters, as well as athletes, and people looking to live a healthy lifestyle. The website allows dieters to log the foods that they eat, the physical activity that they engage in, and their weightloss progress. It also provides an online community for dieters to share their motivations, and support. "The daily plate" ultimately provides users with a supportive community, and interactive tools in order to succeed in their weight loss endeavors.

Dodgeball is mobile social software service that encourages social networking in a manner that incorporates three variables such as a location, place and a specific time. The two founders of Dodgeball, Dennis Crowley and Alex Rainert developed the service to make technology help people connect through the places they move around in. "Dodgeball mingles informational and social aspects of a user’s life into something more valuable than either of those things in isolation." (Shirky, Clay, "Google Acquires Dodgeball".


Elfster is a free service that allows users to organize secret santa exchanges so that each person from a large family or group will only need to buy one gift, and everyone participating will receive one gift. Organizers can use Elfster to contact all the participants involved in the gift exchange, draw names to organize a random and fair combination and as well as help each secret santa communicate with their recipient without revealing their identity. Users need to create an account and can create exchanges all throughout the year. Secret santas can ask their recipients anonymous questions, while the recipients may also post wishlists to help the santa with their exchange. The system is effective as it allows large parties to exchange without having to congregate for a unbiased draw, and is also a great tool for communication.
This system is useful because it allows communities to participate in trading activities easily and at no cost. The concept of secret santa allows participants to economize during the holiday season and although the concept is not new, by creating a interactive system online, Elfster ensures the exchanges are appropriate, fair and convenient to prepare for which encourages more exchange because the tool is so easy to use.

A website similar to Ebay that only sells handmade products. A lot of interactive maps are used to show connections and trades between members, colour pickers and a geolocater. Members can trade products for money, or products for another product. If a member sees something they like by another member, they can contact them to create a personalized one. The interesting thing about Etsy is the various types of ways that a member can search for items, and it allows members who are looking for unique handmade crafts to dig deeper.

Evite is a website that helps arrange events by sending emails or phone messages to guests for free. Users are allowed to design the invites that they send out by uploading their own images for the background or changing the text appearance. The recipients of the invite can see others that are attending or missing out and they can also communicate using the tool prior to the event. The organizer can also check when the recipients have viewed the invite, as after the date will appear next to their name on the guest list.
An event that is in the process of being planned can be saved as a draft and used later. This tool is effective for organizing social gatherings. The service is free of charge and easy to use. Organizers need accounts for Evite, however, they can invite anyone with an e-mail address which allows more connections with Evite.

Expert Village
Expert Village, like YouTube, provides online videos. The difference is that it is focused on academic issues, which consists of online practical tutorials and lectures that are taught by experts. The audience is more focused in this case. (more info coming soon)

Explorer Globe, Leap Frog Toys
The Explorer Globe is another toy that uses interactivity to help children learn about the world. This to uses an interactive pen, a game that tests children knowledge of geography, and can also invite the family to play along. more


Flickr used as a Learning Tool

As most people know, Flickr is a photosharing website designed to allow users to log on and upload their own photos. They can tag them, add notes and captions as well as view other peoples photos and write comments on these also. However, it is not simply a good example of Web 2.0. You can also use Flickr as an educational tool, as has been demonstrated here. More.
As one of the world’s most successful social networks Facebook can greatly inform our public space project. More.


Graffiti Application (Facebook)

Graffiti is an application designed for implementation with Facebook. It was designed by Tim Suzman, Ted Suzman and a “mark”. This application yields 489,466 daily active users. Graffiti allows users to illustrate and draw digitally online. These drawings are then instantly displayed on another user's profile page within Facebook. Graffiti has recently added an option of “replaying” the drawings creation in real time or in a simulated “fast” speed. The art is displayed in a simple gallery system, with archiving capabilities for more than 30 pieces. There also exists functionality to view all the art you have drawn, and all the art others have drawn for you. This application flawlessly links creativity with a usually static and uncreative social networking environment.

Geowiki is a website that combine the social, sharing nature of the wiki into a map. This map allows the user to pinpoint their favourite location, adding comments and photos as they wish. more
Founded in 2006, Kristopher Lederer, based in San Diego created where social networking and image tagging are combined in a social 'cooks, food, and recipes' network, where users can create connections among themselves through similar tastes, the enjoyment of a recipe, or by being 'cooking friends'. It also allows sharing, rating, and indexing of a range of recipes, varying from original and unique recipes to simple and quick ones. more...

Groupvine is a online social network that gears to serve the needs of students at campus. more


The Halfbakery is a communal database of original, fictitious inventions, edited by its users. It was created by people who like to speculate, both as a form of satire and as a form of creative expression.


Interactive Maps is a mapping software which includes sharing and navigating through interactive and highly visual location-specific information.
Google Earth puts a wealth of Earth and space imagery and other geographic information right on your desktop. One is able to see satellite images of their childhood home, read articles from Wikipedia, or view images of distant galaxies from the Hubble Space Telescope. Google Earth is also free for personal use. more...

Interactive terminals
The Insight kiosk cabinet + HyCLASS-virtual learning space proposal
Kiosk is a company that makes touch-screen,free-standing devices and this model called The Insight is equipped with a keyboard, scrolling device, telephone handset and a webcam device can also be installed on request. It enables video conferencing ... more



KPBS Online San Diego Fires Google Maps Mashup
Southern California radio station KPBS created a custom Google Map system in order to help local residents keep track of and cope with the fires threatening the region.
KPBS Fire Map

Kijiji (which translates as Swahili for village) is a centralized network of online communities in which community members are able to post classified advertisements to buy and sell just about anything. Kijiji


LinkedIn is a networking site specifically designed to connect business oriented professionals and maximize the human resources that lie within each person's network. The Company was founded in California and was a funded venture by several companies such as Greylock, Sequoia Capital and more. The website features allow users to list their contacts and recommended professionals that they trust in business, and as each user does this similarly, a pool of human resources becomes visible, becoming accessible through network/connections.

Liveplasma is an interactive interface that maps music and movies linking them with similar groups based on's application programming interface (API). When a user enters a movie or band name, Liveplasma searches the API and generates a web of related results around the term that was submitted.


"Where When What"
Magnalox allows you to view and create detailed GPS logs and is suitable for practically any mode of travel. It is especially useful for documenting hiking or biking excursions with text descriptions, photos, and links to share your travels and experiences with others. more...

Maps Systems (create own map)
With this Map system individuals can easily add and manage there own online interactive maps
The MicroMaps system allows individuals to showcase their own maps within an intuitive, feature rich, brandable and customizable front-end interface that permits individuals to display information to their viewers in a way never before possible.
The web-based back-end system allows non-technical people to create, manage and deploy Interactive Maps Systems in an extremely easy manner. more...

Meetro is the world's first location-aware IM client and real-time social network -- which means Meetro allows you to meet real people in your neighborhood. It is a software that combines the real-time communications of "Instant Messengers," location, photos and profiles together. Similar to mobile phone-based Dodgeball, Meetro utilizes GPS to connect users in close proximity. After signing on and entering a location, users within the area show up on screen, complete with name and photo. Users can read profile info, chat via IM (eg. AIM, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ), and make plans to meet up at a location close by. more... is a social networking system that facilitates off line meetings for people with similar interests in different locations around the world. Users type in their interest, country, and zip code (optional) to find gatherings that fit the criteria. Each event has a section of the site which features a description of the event, a calendar of future meetings and/or related events, members list, photos, forum, polls, file sharing, and a promotion section that allows members to advertise their group through facebook or myspace. more...
MindMeister brings the concept of mind mapping to the web, using its facilities for real-time collaboration to allow truly global brainstorming sessions.
Users can create, manage and share mind maps online and access them anytime, from anywhere. In brainstorming mode, fellow MindMeisters from around the world (or just in different rooms) can simultaneously work on the same mind map - and see each other's changes as they happen. Using integrated Skype calls, they can throw around new ideas and put them down on "paper" at the same time.


National gallery of Art
National gallery of Art for Kids is an interesting website that is dedicated to teach children about art. The part of the site that I chose to look at uses very low-fi technology to give a tour of the different sculpture in a narrative, storytelling format. more...

Nintendo DS Wirless Network
The Nintendo DS allows users to connect to and play with other users that are located within a radius of 30 to 100 feet of the console, depending on the particular game being played. More...


One Laptop Per Child
One Laptop Per Child OLPC is a non-profit association who’s goal is to provide laptops to every child in the world in order to help them learn in an interactive way through the use of technology and community building. more




Reddit is website where users post links to website articles. It is a social news service which allows users to vote and rate the links posted. The more popular votes websites will appear more while the least votes will appear less. User feedback determines how long a link will appear posted.more...

Ride Connect
Ride Connect is a tool that allows the commuters to plan their commuting time when traveling to a special event or simply a common destination. It is an application within Facebook, a site popularly used to nurture and expand social networking among college students and other larger communities.

Road Signs in Ontario
Road signs are an amazing example of environmental graphics. They conform to a system and are universally understood.


Shinkansen (Japanese rail system)
What is the original intention of the subway? To better understand how the subway transit experience can be improved, it would help to look at their original purpose. more...

Smart Trash Cans
An incentive-based recycling program started in 2006 by a new company called Recycle Bank in Philidelphia. They provide customers with recycling bins fitted with RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) chips that enable specially designed garbage trucks to credit each household for the weight of material it recycles. Each week you can go on-line, find out how much you've recycled and collect Recycle Bank Dollars redeemable for a variety of rewards more...

Social Networking.. but for wine-lovers more...

Socialight is a free mobile phone and web based platform that allows users to create and share location-based messages called StickyShadows™. These StickyShadows are virtual multimedia sticky notes that you create anywhere in the world using your mobile phone or this web site. A StickyShadow is made up of media, such as text and a picture, and information about who can see it and when and where it's available. Socialight notifies your mobile phone any time you're near a note, displaying the note content and allowing one the option to instantly respond, leave a note, or just move on. The goal of the site is to make you always feel like a local, where one get's a place vibe from stories and information of all the people that went there. more...

Self-Organizing Map
The SOM is an algorithm used to visualize and interpret large high-dimensional data sets. Typical applications are visualization of process states or financial results by representing the central dependencies within the data on the map. more...

Stickham is a online live community founded in 2004. It is like a chat room, where people can meet and talk each other instantly online through video, audio and text. People are able to talk in both private and public appraoches. Also,it allows you to easily place streaming video, slide show, music, and live video chat on your blog and/or web site for sharing information. The theme of chat rooms can be created by anyone, so I found this technology can be applied to academic study purposes as well, when people have group discussions in long distance. ( more information coming soon )

T is an online community that connects youth to find inspiration, access information, get involved, and take action in their local and global communities. It's the world's most popular online community for young people interested in making a difference, with hundreds of thousands of unique visitors each month. TIG's highly interactive website provides a platform for expression, connection to opportunities, and support for action.

Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus

The Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus is a different take on the classic thesaurus. The VT is a Java based online system based off of the “thinkmap” concept mapping software. The VT constructs webs of words instead of the classic static list method. The word-webs can be expanded, minimized or rearranged by mouse click. They advertise it as a more “intuitive” method for learning and increasing vocabulary. The interactive nature of this thesaurus sets it apart from classic designs because it actively involves the viewer instead of merely regurgitating results. There is a download version and an online version available as well as a pay and free version. The VT contains over 145,000 words and acts as a dictionary as well.

TransLink is the official Transit Authority for the Greater Vancouver region. It provides one location to find information on all different sorts of transportation including buses, ferries, and skyrail trains. The site provides users with transit schedules, maps, and traffic conditions. It also offers a trip planner.

"What are you doing? What are your friends doing?"
Twitter is a flexible social networking tool that allows you to stay connected with your friends in a variety of ways. more...


Upcoming is an event calendar website. The social events found with in the calendar is community produced. Members of the sire can use free services to search events in their area in addition to posting their own event. The site is used to keep calendars of events both public and private, finding out what events friends and family are attending or find events that interest them.more.


Vipera is an online blog controlled completely through mobile devices. The website functions solely as a virtual platform for the community to develop itself through mobile technology. more...

Video Jug
Like YouTube, Video Jug is a video sharing website where people can go to watch videos. However, it differs in that ALL the videos on Video Jug are dedicated to teaching people how to do things. There are many "how-to" videos created by Video Jug themselves, but there is also the opportunity to upload how-to videos that you have made. Anything and almost everything is there. The videos can be as silly or serious as you'd like. More.

VIRB is one of the newest social networking sites to arrive on the scene in the last few years. However, unlike predecessor MySpace, Virb allows almost total customization of the user interface via standards-based languages like CSS.
More Info




Yahoo! Answers
It is a simple Q & A site,which allows users to ask questions of other users and answer other users' questions. They are able to ask questions in any topic, get answers from real people and share people's insights and knowledge.


Zipcar is the world's largest car sharing program available in Toronto (and in the States) that allows eligible drivers rent cars at affordable rates, either by the hour or day. It provides an alternative for those living in the city who do not or do not want to purchase a vehicle, but have the option of easily signing up to use these cars as needed. more...