Browse questions in 3D space!

Awesome screenshot


There are a lot of interesting questions in the Stack Trilogy. But it is difficult to find your way through the huge amount of content when the only way to browse through it is lists. SpaceOverflow lets you capture the content on the Stack trilogy in a whole new way: Questions are visualized in 3D space!

Be impressed by the huge amount of data available on the Stack Trilogy, search in questions or filter by author or a user's activity. Regard updates happening live! See new questions popping up and existing questions moving as they get up-voted. Choose which questions should appear closest and which ones should appear in the center. Thanks to automatic reloading, you can zoom (almost) infinitely with your mouse wheel, and pan by dragging. When you click on a question, a browser is opened that gives you all possibilities that you have when regularly visiting a Stack site.


Download SpaceOverflow binaries

Don't forget:


Update 9 (Version 1.0.1) (after two weeks of holidays, I'm sorry for the absence):

  • Removed click sound when closing web browser
  • Fixed bug that could cause a crash when quitting the application

Update 8 (Version 1.0):

  • Changes are visualized in intervals, simulating live updates while only polling every minute
  • Removed experimental and debugging features
  • Fixed bug: Infinite zoom not working properly for sorts Hot and Featured
  • Fixed bug: Sorts Hot and Featured not available for search
  • Fixed a ton of other bugs
  • Added a ton of new features I can't remember
  • Fixed another ton of bugs I found in the ton of new features

Update 7:

  • Introducing live updating!!
    • New question plop in
    • When votes, author reputation, etc. changes, question is automatically moved
    • No TIE fighters yet, I'm sorry
  • Decreased startup time
  • Fixed bug: Allowing you to pan while mouse is not in application window
  • Introducing new abstraction layer (QuestionSource)

Update 6:

  • Fixed several bugs, including hit testing (determining which question you clicked)
  • Caching StackAuth response to make startup faster

Update 5:

  • Using StackAuth for API endpoint discovery
  • Updated to API version 1.0
  • Re-organized API implementation
  • Small fixes to increase usability:
    • Don't open question when mouse has moved more than 5 pixels
    • Don't open question when click was used to stop movement
  • Added animation to make zooming smoother
  • Allowing zoom with numpad + and - keys
  • Improved explode/implode animation
  • Addressed performance issue

Update 4:

  • Performance improved quite a lot. Also, the text should be easier to read now, especially if it's far away.

Update 3:

  • Allows you to change the mapping of questions to the space! Choose the criteria that determine which questions should be the nearest and which the most centered ones.

Update 2:

  • Added progress indicator.
  • Preliminary support for infinite zoom!

Update 1:

  • Allows you to search in questions and filter by author. (Unfortunately, search is sometimes a little slow - just wait then)
  • Dropped random component in locating of questions - the same question will always stay at the same place now.
  • Decreased overall waiting times.
  • Project is now hosted on Google Code.
  • Added a little easter egg ;-) See if you can find it.


SpaceOverflow source on Google Code


Contact me: eric dot wolf one two three at gmail dot com


This is licensed under the GPU General Public License v2.

  • 3
    it is a novelty, but a freakin cool novelty. you get a vote for creativity but not for utility. Jun 27 '10 at 19:20
  • 1
    @code-poet Thanks! Any suggestions to make it more useful?
    – eWolf
    Jun 27 '10 at 19:21
  • 1
    Ah! You stole my idea! :) Just kidding, it's awesome. Will this run under Mono? Jun 27 '10 at 19:31
  • ewolf, looks like you are well on your way to creating a unique means of visualizing aggregated data and for those who would like to mesmerize themselves with random bits of arbitrary data in the form of a starfield I am sure it is already quite useful. ;-) But, except for odd times with a little too much to drink, I typically use stack sites as tools to accomplish something I am working on or to help others accomplish what they are working on but I don't generally meditate on the wonderful diversity of questions coming from the stack universe. For those who do, SpaceOverflow is just the thing Jun 27 '10 at 19:33
  • Who knows, you may instigate a new type of cognitive meditation that leads to stack gurus unlike any seen before. ;-) keep it up. Jun 27 '10 at 19:35
  • @George Edison: Seems like there is an XNA implementation for Mono, so it's probably possible in theory. @code poet: Hehe ;-) Well, as soon as I remove the random component in the visualization so you can actually find questions you've seen before, this is not about arbitrary data anymore - just two more dimensions then.
    – eWolf
    Jun 27 '10 at 19:43
  • @eWolf: Okay. I'll give it a go later. Jun 27 '10 at 19:45
  • @eWolf: Sorry, but I tried to install the XNA framework with wine/mono but it didn't quite work. If only there was a way to get wine to think I had the .net 2.0 files installed. Jun 27 '10 at 20:42
  • ... I want this as a screensaver... especially if it gets Code Poet's suggestion in the answers... Jun 28 '10 at 0:47
  • Windows 7 Ultimate x86 - just crashes as soon as you execute the EXE and I don't have VS on this machine to compile it from source Jun 28 '10 at 0:50
  • Ah, I didn't have the XNA framework on that machine (because of the lack of VS I'm guessing). Can you check for that on load? Jun 28 '10 at 0:53
  • @Farseeker I'll see what I can do about it.
    – eWolf
    Jun 28 '10 at 10:40
  • @eWolf: Just tried it on Vista now - it crashed. I'm guessing it's because I don't have the XNA Framework? Probably it would be a good idea to check for that on startup. Jun 29 '10 at 3:48
  • @George: So it worked after installing XNA? As I said before, I'll try to add a meaningful error message in case XNA is not installed.
    – eWolf
    Jun 29 '10 at 14:18
  • @eWolf: Sorry, I didn't have a chance to install the XNA framework. Have you considered listing your application on StackList? Jul 4 '10 at 1:12

When questions get downvoted I want to see a tie-fighter scream in and hit the question with the appropriate number of laser bolts.

The question should display the appropriate amount of distress as related to the number of downvotes.

When a question is closed it should explode in a blaze of glory.

That would get some face time from me!

  • ...and the point of this answer is? Jun 27 '10 at 20:10
  • 8
    Suggesting improvements for the application?
    – nobody
    Jun 27 '10 at 21:20
  • 1
    @geo - while it is intended with humour in mind, it does directly address the question implied by 'I'd like to hear which features you'd like the most.' - it is developed on a game platform after all and the intended audience certainly isn't (or shouldn't) be those who need the most efficient view on the data. so why not take it to the logical conclusion and embrace the entertainment potential. and i, in no way, intend this as a detraction from the value of SpaceOverflow. unlike another post in a different question which is what, i feel motivated your comment. i could be wrong but no worries Jun 27 '10 at 21:28
  • @code: Ya... this tool is just... neat. Not much else, but still neat. (Can't actually run it though, thanks to .NET - didn't Microsoft say the whole point of .NET was to eliminate OS and architecture differences? Ironic.) Jun 27 '10 at 21:32
  • Cool suggestions ;-) Would be awesome for sure. I'll give it a try when I've got some more basic functionality ready.
    – eWolf
    Jun 28 '10 at 10:42
  • @George h.imagehost.org/0258/SpaceOverflow.png
    – eWolf
    Jul 14 '10 at 22:34
  • Oops - I meant @code
    – eWolf
    Jul 14 '10 at 22:41
  • @eWolf: Neat! Lookin' good. Jul 15 '10 at 0:51
  • @ewolf - right on! may the force be with you. Jul 15 '10 at 4:32

this just crashes every time i run it. . .

  • You probably don't have the XNA framework installed microsoft.com/downloads/… Jul 1 '10 at 23:11
  • 1
    I'll add a READMEIFITCRASHES file in the next version.
    – eWolf
    Jul 2 '10 at 5:28
  • I'd like to hear if it worked with XNA installed. Also, you can download update 1 now.
    – eWolf
    Jul 2 '10 at 21:21

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