Issue #2003 - 17
Canadian company Tackles Handheld Screen Size Problem
The small screen sizes of handheld wireless devices amplify the challenges of detailed data visualization experienced by PC users. Users want the ability to use the same data-rich applications that present visualization challenges on 17” office PC monitors on their handhelds. Even with current limitations there is no denying the usefulness of handheld data viewing in both commercial and military applications. GIS and CAD professionals are able to make informed in-field decisions working from the latest maps and drawings carried with them on handheld devices. The combination of GPS with GIS technologies and handheld devices has enabled efficient in-field data collection and updating of existing GIS databases. In the military, every soldier’s location will soon be mapped on a network and displayed on each individual’s wireless device providing situational awareness to everyone in the field. Wireless devices enabling mobile and informed populations have enormous efficiency and lifesaving potential. With better visualization techniques we can expect efficiency and accuracy gains in viewing and editing large images on small screens. This in turn will lead to more widespread adoption of handheld applications.
Detail-in-context visualization is one solution to these “screen real-estate” problems. Much research has been conducted in this area of information visualization. Studies such as Gutwin and Skopik’s Fisheye Views
have shown that navigation and efficiency are improved by using detail-in-context lenses instead of traditional non-distortion techniques such as panning or radar views. Specifically the study demonstrated that detail-in-context lenses “were faster than the non-distorting techniques” and that “in situations where magnification is required, distortion-oriented views can be effective representations for interactive tasks.”
Detail-in-Context viewing can also provide a convenient way of saving bandwidth. In retrieving the detail in large images stored offsite, only the relevant portion of the image needs to be transferred. This further improves efficiency in wireless applications.
For more information: http://www.idelix.com
MobileInfo Comments and Advisory: Visualizing
techniques employed by Idelix are innovative and would help in using
small handheld devices for these applications.
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