Supporting Map-based Geocollaboration Through Natural Interfaces to Large-Screen Displays
Groups usually carry out science and decision-making activities involving geographic information. However, current mapping and related geospatial technologies are not group-friendly, and attempts to extend (or reinvent) technologies for group use have been largely ad hoc. Elsewhere, we have developed a comprehensive conceptual approach to geocollaboration that provides a framework for both studying collaborative work with geospatial information (and technologies) and the development of new technologies designed to support group work. We are applying that approach to a range of prototype systems that support same- and different-place as well as same- and different-time group activities.
Our focus in this paper is on same-time, same-place group work environments that enable that work through use of large-screen displays supporting natural, human-system dialogue and multi-user interaction. Two environments are described and compared. Both make use of hand gestures as a mechanism for specifying display locations. One adopts a combined wall map/white board metaphor while the other adopts a drafting table metaphor. We focus on crisis management as a typical use case.
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