“Intersection: Computer Graphics for Everyday Living”

  • ©Sara Ljungblad, Dylan Tinlun Chan, and Lars Erik Holmquist

  • ©Sara Ljungblad, Dylan Tinlun Chan, and Lars Erik Holmquist




    Intersection: Computer Graphics for Everyday Living



    We investigate how computer graphics can support daily activities in everyday environments. Intersection presents real-time information of buses and trams, for those who use public transport as everyday means of transportation. It is a wall-hung display situated in office or home environments, helping people to plan their departure time by a simple glance. Intersection is a visual artist’s interpretation of the specific data, not intended to be generalized to other kinds of data. The purpose is to let the graphics clearly reveal what information that is shown and display cues for how to read it, supporting the users memory. Subtle text, visible at a close glance provides detailed information. Users can map one or several buses and trams to the intersection, to fit their mental model over the closest bus and tram stop.
    Intersection is part of ambient display research, exploring how to present digital information in physical surroundings. In previous work some displays also take inspiration from visual artists, but without using the artist’s own ability to visually express specific data. In our own previous work [Skog et al. 2003], we used the visual style of Piet Mondrian to present both weather and bus information. [Stasko et al. 2004] uses visual themes, for example a beach view where beach objects display stock change, traffic and other information sources. In this case, the same graphics display various data for everyday use, without providing visual cues to support the user’s memory.


    Skog, T., Ljungblad, S. & Holmquist, L. E. 2003. Between Aesthetics and Utility: Designing Ambient Information Visualizations. Proceedings of Info Vis 2003. IEEE Computer Society Press, 233–240.
    Stasko, J., Miller, T., Pousman, Z., Plaue, C. & Ullah, O. 2004 Personalized Peripheral Information Awareness through Information Art. Proceedings of UbiComp 2004, Nottingham, U.K., September 2004, 18–35

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