A tool for location based literary research.

by jan-erik stange and sebastian meier, supervised by lecturer till nagel
build as part of the "urbane ebenen" lecture, summer 2010 at the university of applied science potsdam



This tool enables users to explore books by the locations contained in them on a multitouch table. It is supposed to be located in a library context. It consists of a search interface that enables you to type in keywords like in a standard library catalogue interface. In addition to that our interface provides the user with options like setting the genre of the books you are looking for and selecting tags. Once you have typed in a search query and hit confirm, the results are displayed in the upper part of the multitouch table as a list with small images of the book covers. Books can now be dragged from there onto the map. The system then displays all the locations in this particular book by little points on the map. These points are connected with curved lines to a ring with a textframe in it, a representation of the book. The ring represents the whole book and is scrollable. Its size informs you about the size of a book. In the text frame the user looks at the text at the current position in the book. By scrolling the ring the user can change the position. The position can also be changed with more accuracy by scrolling the text in the frame. The tool enables users to compare locations in books by dragging up to three books onto the surface. Also the number of search results can be minimized by selecting regions on the map. By doing this only books with locations inside the selected region are part of the search results. Regions are selected by drawing a shape on the map. It is also possible to start a new search from a shape you have drawn. If you are interested in a particular book you can put this book (a printed book) on the table. The system then recognizes the book with the help of an RFID-chip in the book and automatically creates the according locations and the ring with the textframe on the map. One might also be interested in the sequence of locations mentioned in the book. By tapping an icon on the textframe, the location points on the map are numbered according to their position in the book and connected with lines.

The application is written in Java using the processing library as well as the map-library "unfolding" and the TUIO-library for implementing touch-events. The map itself is aggregated from the cloudmade-web-service. The books are geotagged with a php-script that uses the Yahoo-Placemaker-API.


prototype Overview of the whole application on the multitouch table. The main lit-interactions on a touchscreen-table ( A scenario based run-through of the lit-prototype. prototype Detail of the search interface with keyboard. prototype Search results with little images of book covers. prototype Detail of search results. prototype Closeup-view of book object with text frame and ring to scroll around it. Locations on the ring are connected with lines on the map and inform you about when locations are mentioned in the book. prototype prototype Overview with result list and search interface collapsed. prototype Moving the book object on the map. prototype Showing the sequence of locations in a book with connecting lines and numbers at the location points. prototype Comparing the locations of two books. prototype prototype prototype Zoomed in map with the two book objects.


scrolling text in textframe
scrolling ring to adjust the text displayed
jumping to a specific page in the search results
scrolling the search results
resizing the search-results-list
dragging a book onto the map to display its locations
zooming the map in and out
panning the map
selecting a region by drawing a shape

paper prototype

paper prototyping testing interactions

visual prototyping on connection-lines

visual prototyping on connection-lines a set of interactive prototypes for testing lines and curves between two points

copyright 2010 - jan-erik stange and sebastian meier

legal notice: despite careful control, we cannot assume any liability for the content of the linked pages. the copyright for any material and design created by the author is reserved. any duplication or use of objects such as images, videos or texts in other electronic or printed publications is not permitted without the author's agreement. responsible for content: jan-erik stange and sebastian meier.