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Mail Garden visualizes the contents of one email mailbox on your computer as a forest of trees. Each tree in this forest represents an email, with the height of the trees reflecting the length of the mail. Moving your mouse over a tree shows some details about the email. The overall aim is to create a view of your mailbox that encourages a more reflective kind of consciousness.
In future versions we envisage more options for the data used to generate the trees, including the ability to grow individual trees to represent individual people (one tree per person, with each branch representing a single email sent by this person), email threads (one tree per thread, with each branch representing an email in the thread).
Looking further into the future, we envisage the ability to visualize other kinds of communication-related data, including instant messaging history and calender data, and to do all of this with an open architecture that allows anyone to create a plugin to import and visualize their own kind of data.
Mailgarden was developed at Visualizar, Medialab Prado, Madrid, Spain as part the project Human Centered Data View suggested by Kjen Wilkens. It was designed and programmed with great contributions of the collaborators in the project Damian Stewart (New Zeland/Portugal), Jenny Cahier (Sweden), and Marcela Machuca (Mexico/United Kingdom).