Supporting map-based geocollaboration through natural interfaces to large-screen displays

Allan M. MacEachren, Guoray Cai, Isaac Brewer, Jin Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-34
Number of pages19
JournalCartographic Perspectives
Issue number54
StatePublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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