Journal Article
Tangible User Interfaces (TUIs): a novel paradigm for GIS

In recent years, an increasing amount of effort has gone into the design of GIS user interfaces. On the one hand, Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) with a high degree of sophistication have replaced line-driven commands of first-generation GIS. On the other hand, a number of alternative approaches have been suggested, most notably those based on Virtual Environments (VEs). In this paper we discuss a novel interface for GIS, which springs from recent work carried out in the field of Tangible User Interfaces (TUIs). The philosophy behind TUIs is to allow people to interact with computers via familiar tangible objects, therefore taking advantage of the richness of the tactile world combined with the power of numerical simulations. Two experimental systems, named Illuminating Clay and SandScape , are described here and their applications to GIS are examined. Conclusions suggest that these interfaces might streamline the landscape design process and result in a more effective use of GIS, especially when distributed decision-making and discussion with non-experts are involved.

Title
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsRatti C
Secondary AuthorsWang Y
Tertiary AuthorsIsh, ii H
Subsidiary AuthorsFrenchman D
JournalTransactions in GIS
Volume8
Issue4
Pagination407-421
Date Published10/2004
Abstract

In recent years, an increasing amount of effort has gone into the design of GIS user interfaces. On the one hand, Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) with a high degree of sophistication have replaced line-driven commands of first-generation GIS. On the other hand, a number of alternative approaches have been suggested, most notably those based on Virtual Environments (VEs). In this paper we discuss a novel interface for GIS, which springs from recent work carried out in the field of Tangible User Interfaces (TUIs). The philosophy behind TUIs is to allow people to interact with computers via familiar tangible objects, therefore taking advantage of the richness of the tactile world combined with the power of numerical simulations. Two experimental systems, named Illuminating Clay and SandScape , are described here and their applications to GIS are examined. Conclusions suggest that these interfaces might streamline the landscape design process and result in a more effective use of GIS, especially when distributed decision-making and discussion with non-experts are involved.

URLhttps://www.researchgate.net/publication/220606050_Tangible_User_Interfaces_TUIs_a_novel_paradigm_for_GIS
DOI10.1111/j.1467-9671.2004.00193.x