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Workshop: Presenting Spatial Information: Granularity, Relevance, and Integration

In recent years, the availability of automatically generated spatial information of various kinds has developed dramatically. Nowadays, virtually any kind of information is obtainable via the internet. Route descriptions of diverse kinds can be obtained from many different sources and across different modalities. Views of maps and geographic information can be accessed in various ways, and local spatial or spatial-related information is provided for diverse interests and in a multitude of ways.

Although this is already a fantastic situation in terms of information availability and accessibility, internet users may not always be comfortable with the ways in which the information is presented. Recent research has shown that automatically generated information exhibits fundamentally different features from information provided naturally by humans when asked about spatial information, for example, in route directions ( Tenbrink & Winter, 2009, Spatial Cognition & Computation). Therefore, it is our contention that substantial work still needs to be done in order to render spatial information services much more supportive and cognitively suitable.

The focus of this workshop will be on issues pertaining to granularity, relevance, and integration. Spatial information is presented to information seekers on various levels of granularity, ranging from coarse high-level information concerning geographic areas to detailed low-level information concerning spatial actions in small-scale space. Not all of this information is relevant for all purposes, and so decisions concerning granularity are directly intertwined with issues of relevance across interaction scenarios. On top of that, web-based services typically present information on one level of granularity at a time, providing access to other granularities or other types of information via various hyperlinks. In contrast, humans manage to present information in an integrated and coherent way, switching flexibly and smoothly between levels of granularity according to the expected relevance for the information seeker. Such processes are substantially supported by dialogic interaction.

Date: September, 21, 2009

Location: COSIT'09; Aber Wrac'h, France