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Visual Links

The tasks carried out by modern information workers become increasingly complex and time-consuming. They often require to evaluate, interpret, and compare information from different sources presented in multiple application windows. With large, high resolution displays, multiple application windows can be arranged in a way so that a large amount of information is visible simultaneously. However, individual application windows' contents and visual representations are isolated and relations between information items contained in these windows are not explicit. Thus, relating and comparing information across applications has to be executed manually by the user, which is a tedious and error-prone task.
Visual links connect related pieces of information across application windows and thereby guide the user's attention to relevant information. Applications are coordinated by a management application accessible via a light-weight interface. User selections are synchronized across registered applications and visual links are rendered on top of the desktop content by a window manager. Initial user feedback was very positive and indicates that visual links improve task efficiency when analyzing information from multiple sources.

Insititution: Graz University of Technology
Year: 2010 - 2011


Markus Steinberger, Manuela Waldner, Marc Streit, Alexander Lex, Dieter Schmalstieg
Context-Preserving Visual Links
In IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (InfoVis 2011)
pages 2249 - 2258
October 2011
paper [PDF - 10.7 MB]
Best Paper Award

Manuela Waldner, Dieter Schmalstieg
Collaborative Information Linking: Bridging Knowledge Gaps between Users by Linking across Applications
In 4th IEEE Pacific Visualization Symposium (PacificVis 2011)
pages 115-122
March 2011
paper [PDF - 5 MB]

Manuela Waldner, Werner Puff, Alexander Lex, Marc Streit, Dieter Schmalstieg
Visual Links across Applications
In Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2010 (GI 2010)
pages 129-136
May 2010
paper [PDF - 3.9 MB]
Best Student Paper Award

Project List

Manuela Waldner 2004 - 2011