Improving interaction with virtual globes through spatial thinking: Helping users ask "Why?"

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Improving interaction with virtual globes through spatial thinking: Helping users ask "Why?" is a 2008 conference paper written in English by Schoming J., Raubal M., Marsh M., Hecht B., Kruger A., Rohs M. and published in International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, Proceedings IUI.

[edit] Abstract

Virtual globes have progressed from little-known technology to broadly popular software in a mere few years. We investigated this phenomenon through a survey and discovered that, while virtual globes are en vogue, their use is restricted to a small set of tasks so simple that they do not involve any spatial thinking. Spatial thinking requires that users ask "what is where" and "why"; the most common virtual globe tasks only include the "what". Based on the results of this survey, we have developed a multi-touch virtual globe derived from an adapted virtual globe paradigm designed to widen the potential uses of the technology by helping its users to inquire about both the "what is where" and "why" of spatial distribution. We do not seek to provide users with full GIS (geographic information system) functionality, but rather we aim to facilitate the asking and answering of simple "why" questions about general topics that appeal to a wide virtual globe user base. Copyright 2008 ACM.

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