Coverpop.com

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Coverpop is website I made in October of 2005 while I was experimenting with different kinds of photomosaics. I found this wonderful archive of old Science Fiction magazine covers, and I had the idea of spreading them out like one would spread them on an enormous coffee table, organizing them roughly by color and date. When you moused over a particular cover, the image would be fetched and it would "pop out" at you, as if you had lifted it from the table. I wrote a script that figured out good placements for each cover by optimizing for space.

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I then extended the idea to lots of other collections - various book and product categories on Amazon, Flickr Photos, YouTube videos and so on. I wrote scripts to fetch this information every few days, and regenerate the mosaics overnight. Whenever anyone bought an amazon product they discovered on the site, I would get a commission.

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In many of the mosaics the Y axis is used for color, and the X axis is used to represent time or price. For example, in the guitar mosaic above, the expensive guitars are on the right.

In some of the other mosaics I used a photo mosaic like effect, such as this collection of books about UFOs and the Paranormal.

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For a while the site got a lot of hits because it was the number one search result for "youtube music", and despite getting about a quarter of the traffic of my puzzle site, it generated most of my ad revenue. Eventually, however, Google blacklisted the site, and it stopped getting any significant traffic.

I'm proud of the basic underlying idea, and I think it's an interesting (although not entirely successful) solution to the puzzle of how to browse an extremely large number of "stuff". At the same time, the site is essentially worthless marketing and I've been strongly tempted to take it down the past few years. Its days are numbered.