That demo has issues, but I don’t think those damn elastic lists per se. Some of my criticisms: too many facet values as refinement options, lack of parallelism (e.g., locations aren’t hierarchical and some options should be children of others), lack of normalization of organizations (e.g., google and google inc.), and a confusing description facet (e.g., choices include “computer software” and “software”). In contrast, the Nobel Prize demo strikes me as a much better demo of elastic lists.
Good observation there.
The thing there is the size... You need a very high degree of normalization in order to get that interface correct. The top navigation represents how the data is normalized to drill down into.
The overall concept is nothing new --- filtered results. The implementation is novel, and even slick.
It would be nice if there were some programming components that could do that. Well, Excel has it built in kind-of, as does Access. But nice elastic interfaces like that would be nice. (Good choice on the name for it as well.)
I can think of some immediate applications that I could use it for right now.