Posted by: 2stepsback | November 18, 2005

Visual Site Map

A good student project idea is an application that creates a 2d graph showing the map of a website – the application scans a site and generates a pictorial two dimensional graph of the site. The technology that immediately comes to mind as being best suited for this is Java2D. The site map will consist of a graph with a page as a node(shown as a small “page” icon) and links as shown as arrows pointing from the originating page to the target page.
The challenges in this project are:
(1) parsing the files for <a href=…..> and fetching the files at the url,
(2) the data structure used to store the sitemap – a JTree will be the natural choice but you could use a table or a 2D array as well
(3) programmed positioning of the “page” images
(4) handling the display when the number of pages is large, so that the graph will stretch beyond the visible screen. Then, zooming and scrollbars will come into play.

There are several text mode sitemap generators which output the sitemap by displaying one row for each page with the full path included. However, a visual 2D sitemap generator is much more appealing.

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