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creating images and visual aids with PHP

From: user 9.
Sent on: Monday, November 2, 2009 1:01 PM
Hi everyone! This is going to be a tough question I have a feeling, since I don't think this is what PHP is made for. But since I don't know how to use flash well, and don't really want to take the time to learn it for just one job, here goes nothin'. All creative ideas welcome.

What I've got so far: Basically, I have a mysql database with data in it on certain entities (movies / books), and a formula to takes that data and relates the entities to each other based on how similar or different they are (So the movie Friday the 13th would be ranked as very different from the movie Office Space on several levels). 

What I would like to learn how to do: What I would like to do is display that information visually, in a way similar to how http://www.livepl...­ does it for movies/books/bands (go to liveplasma, type in "taking back sunday" and click on the artist/band button for an example). It obviously doesn't need to have the fading effects or be as smooth/flowing, but I would somehow like to generate a sequence of dots in relative positions to one another based on my algorithms results on how similar/different they are to one another, and be able to move around the "map," probably using AJAX. I was thinking of maybe somehow creating image tiles of the data, and using AJAX to move them around, kind of like how mapquest/google maps does it with its maps? I'm really not entirely sure where to begin.

Really, any and all ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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