This research project explores the convergence of two technologies: information visualization and multi-touch display devices. Tablet computers have had a widespread acceptance and there has been a tremendous growth in the use of machines where touch is the primary interaction paradigm.
Unfortunately, current information visualization systems translate poorly to these touch displays because data representations are typically small, especially for large data, and they commonly employ many fine-grained WIMP-style interface control components such as scrollbars, sliders, check boxes, dialogs, and text fields. These small data elements and interface controls are difficult to accurately select, manipulate, and control via fingers and touch.
Our objective in this research is to analyze, understand, and develop a better set of interactions for information visualization on touch-based devices. This research contains significant design and evaluation components as we develop new methods of interaction for these applications. Ultimately, we aim to contribute to a “science of interaction” in the field of data visualization as we gain a stronger understanding of how interaction contributes toward knowledge acquisition and insight generation.