View the Project on GitHub sunzhida/MetaMap


Supporting Visual Metaphor Ideation through Multi-dimensional Example-based Exploration

Youwen Kang, Zhida Sun, Sitong Wang, Zeyu Huang, Ziming Wu, and Xiaojuan Ma. 2021. MetaMap: Supporting Visual Metaphor Ideation through Multi-dimensional Example-based Exploration. In Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ‘21). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, Article 427, 1–15. DOI:


│  ├─static
│  │  ├─img
│  │  │  └─*.{jpg|png}
│  │  └─...
│  └─...


Start by entering search keywords on the top left. Available keywords including bike, mental, clock… More possible keywords will show up beneath the input area after clicking the search button. Clicking on any color on the palette will sort images in that order.

Clicking an image on the bottom left will put it to the main canvas. Click on it on the main canvas to expand operations. Clicking on the tag on its left to “explore”. (There is still room for optimizations. Please bear with slow responses if the exploration results do not show up after 6+ seconds. They will eventually show up if you have clicked once.)

On the right three carousels will appear. Hover on them and use the arrow buttons to navigate. Alternatively, drag or click on the horizontal scroll bar to navigate. Click on an image to select and show its keywords. Click on any keywords to further explore from it.


Left control panel

  1. Searching
    1. searching keywords with keywords
    2. searching images with keywords
  2. Keywords history
  3. Color palette

Right mood-boarding area

  1. Expand/Explore the mind map
    1. searching images with images
    2. searching keywords with images
  2. Interaction history