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Journal of Interactive Media

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Volume 16, Issue 3


Visualization and Interaction with Multiple Devices. A Case Study on Reachability of Remote Areas for Emergency Management

Jordi Tost / Frank Heidmann
Published Online: 2017-11-24 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/icom-2017-0027


When a hazard event strikes, the reachability of affected areas is a significant factor that can determine if the situation becomes a disaster. Decision makers have to react quickly while under stress to tasks that depend on the road network, such as management of relief operations, planning of evacuation routes, or food and first aid distribution. In this paper we present an approach for exploring and validating reachability of remote areas through visualization with an interactive tabletop and tablets. We propose a simple way to combine and visualize data from scientists and communities to provide insights into area reachability, as well as the likely impacts of future hazard events on access routes. Moreover, our interface introduces an approach to assess alternative accessibility options to isolated settlements by helicopter or off-road routes that builds on satellite data and interactive collaborative mapping. This set of visualization and interaction techniques facilitates the formation of risk scenarios for better planning, preparedness and response activities. We developed our research with a case study of landslide threat for an area in Colombia.

Keywords: Data Visualization; Human-Computer Interaction (HCI); Multi-touch; User-Centered Design; Mobility; Disaster Management


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About the article

Jordi Tost

Jordi Tost is since 2015 a research associate at the Interaction Design Lab (IDL) of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam. He received a bachelor’s degree in Audiovisual Systems Engineering from the Technical University of Catalonia and a Master’s degree in Interface Design from the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam. His research focuses on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Information Visualization and User-Centered Design.

Frank Heidmann

Dr. Frank Heidmann is a professor of human-computer interaction and head of the Interaction Design Lab (IDL) at FH;P (Potsdam University of Applied Sciences). He teaches user experience and human-computer interaction, and conducts research on geographic visualization and natural user interfaces for smart environments, smart cities, and ubiquitous computing.

Published Online: 2017-11-24

Published in Print: 2017-12-20

The project DIGENTI is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) within the INNOspace initiative of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). We are grateful for this support.

Citation Information: i-com, Volume 16, Issue 3, Pages 223–246, ISSN (Online) 2196-6826, ISSN (Print) 1618-162X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/icom-2017-0027.

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