Touch Interaction with 3D Scientific Visualizations



In two position papers I have started to contemplate the implications of the use of direct-touch interaction for exploring 3D scientific datasets. The first paper (DEXIS 2011) analyzes the specific constraints of scientific visualization environments and their implications for the design of direct-touch interfaces for 3D data analysis and discusses potential future developments in this field. In the second paper (3DCHI 2012) I discuss the use of touch postures as opposed to the very general term ‘gestures’ to control the interaction modalities. This is an important questions because in scientific visualization it is necessary to combine numerous different interaction techniques (navigation, cutting plane manipulation, data probing, seed particle placement, etc.) using the same input space.

3DCHI 2012 paper download:  (1.1 MB)

DEXIS 2011 paper download:  (0.18 MB)


Additional material:


This discussion in this viewpoint article relates to a number of projects/papers I have worked on, including the following:


Tobias Isenberg and Mark Hancock (2012) Gestures vs. Postures: ‘Gestural’ Touch Interaction in 3D Environments. In Ken Anderson, Leena Arhippainen, Hrvoje Benko, Jean-Baptiste de la Rivière, Jonna Häkkilä, Antonio Krüger, Daniel Keefe, Minna Pakanen, and Frank Steinicke, eds., Proceedings of the CHI Workshop on “The 3rd Dimension of CHI: Touching and Designing 3D User Interfaces” (3DCHI, May 5, Austin, TX, USA)., pages 53–61, 2012.

BibTeX entry:

@INPROCEEDINGS{Isenberg:2012:GPG, author = {Tobias Isenberg and Mark Hancock}, title = {\textit{Gestures} vs.\ Postures: `{G}estural' Touch Interaction in {3D} Environments}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the CHI Workshop on ``The 3\textsuperscript{rd} Dimension of CHI: Touching and Designing 3D User Interfaces'' (3DCHI, May 5, Austin, TX, USA)}, OPTeditor = {Ken Anderson and Leena Arhippainen and Hrvoje Benko and de la Rivi{\`e}re, Jean-Baptiste and Jonna H{\"a}kkil{\"a} and Antonio Kr{\"u}ger and Daniel Keefe and Minna Pakanen and Frank Steinicke}, year = {2012}, pages = {53--61}, oa_hal_url = {}, url = {}, pdf = {}, }
Tobias Isenberg (2011) Position Paper: Touch Interaction in Scientific Visualization. In Petra Isenberg, Sheelagh Carpendale, Tobias Hesselmann, Tobias Isenberg, and Bongshin Lee, eds., Proceedings of the Workshop on Data Exploration on Interactive Surfaces (DEXIS, November 13, Kobe, Japan). INRIA, Le Chesnay, France, pages 24–27, 2011. DEXIS proceedings published as INRIA research report # RR-0421 in May 2012.

BibTeX entry:

@INPROCEEDINGS{Isenberg:2011:TIS, author = {Tobias Isenberg}, title = {Position Paper: Touch Interaction in Scientific Visualization}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the Workshop on Data Exploration on Interactive Surfaces (DEXIS, November 13, Kobe, Japan)}, OPTeditor = {Petra Isenberg and Sheelagh Carpendale and Tobias Hesselmann and Tobias Isenberg and Bongshin Lee}, year = {2011}, pages = {24--27}, publisher = {INRIA}, address = {Le Chesnay, France}, oa_hal_url = {}, url = {}, url2 = {}, pdf = {}, }

This work was done at and in collaboration with the Scientific Visualization and Computer Graphics Lab of the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, the AVIZ project group of INRIA, France, and the LIMSI lab at CNRS, France.