Navigation is one of the most basic and common interaction tasks in virtual environments. Many applications from different domains require intuitive metaphors and techniques to explore their underlying data. In particular, 3D geospatial data has grown in popularity and has been used widely in many different application domains in recent years. While generating, processing and visualizing these complex data sets has been addressed through many sophisticated algorithms, current navigation and exploration techniques are often not sufficient for geospatial environments.
Navigation is often referred to as the combination of way-finding and travel. Way-finding denotes the cognitive aspects of navigation in which users build a cognitive representation of the environment. Way-finding determines how to get from one location to another, but does not involve the actual movement. In contrast, travel refers to the physical aspects of navigation. In the context of virtual reality, it denotes the physical action of changing the position and orientation of the virtual viewpoint, according to some underlying interaction paradigm.
The geospatial domain provides an interesting test-bed for multi-touch applications because the command and control of geographic space (at different scales) as well as the selection, modification, and annotation of geospatial data are complicated tasks and have a high potential to benefit from novel interaction paradigms.
G. Bruder, F. Steinicke, D. Valkov, K. Hinrichs, Augmented virtual studio for architectural exploration
D. Valkov, F. Steinicke, G. Bruder, K. Hinrichs, Traveling in 3d virtual environments with foot gestures and a multi-touch enabled WIM
G. Bruder, F. Steinicke, D. Valkov, K. Hinrichs, Immersive virtual studio for architectural exploration
D. Valkov, F. Steinicke, G. Bruder, K. Hinrichs, A multi-touch enabled human-transporter metaphor for virtual 3D traveling
D. Valkov, F. Steinicke, G. Bruder, K. Hinrichs, Navigation through geo-spatial environments with a multi-touch enabled human-transporter metaphor