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Learning the Land: CSCW in the Arctic

Aaron Genest, Sriram Subramanian, Learning the Land: CSCW in the Arctic. CSTR-07-009, University of Saskatchewan - HCI-TR-07-02,. September 2007. PDF, 1082 Kbytes.


Interactions between researchers and northern communities involving geographical information are a crucial part of northern research in Canada. Currently, such interactions are mediated with paper-based maps and transparent overlays, a method that is time consuming and awkward, and that often loses critical interaction data. However, people in northern communities are often unwilling to use computers and projection technologies that would enhance such interactions. We conducted interviews with four researchers with extensive experience in northern research to determine the requirements for a new tool that would assist with geographical representation tasks yet remain palatable to community members. The result is a tabletop interface design modified for increased tracking of user interaction, durability, portability, and small interaction areas, that retains the look and feel of paper-based interactions. The tabletop will display GIS software with simple navigation and map modification controls.

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