Innovations in Visualization

Rotation 'N Translation

Russell Kruger
Mark Hancock
Sheelagh Carpendale

Fluid Integration of Rotation and Translation

Previous research has shown that rotation and orientation of items plays three major roles during the course of tabletop collaboration: comprehension, coordination and communication. Based on these roles of orientation, we designed a novel tabletop rotation mechanism, Rotate ’N Translate (RNT), which provides integral control of rotation and translation using only a single touch-point for input. We present an empirical evaluation comparing RNT to the standard rotation mechanism that separates control of rotation and translation. Results of this study indicate RNT is more efficient than the separate mechanism and better supports the communicative and comprehensive roles of orientation, without sacrificing support for coordination.

We also compare and contrast a variety of rotation and translation mechanisms available for the tabletop display. While some mechanisms support comprehension, coordination and communication, others provide higher precision and integrate better with existing graphical user interfaces.


Mark S. Hancock, Frederic D. Vernier, Daniel Wigdor, Sheelagh Carpendale and Chia Shen. Rotation and Translation Mechanisms for Tabletop Interaction. In TableTop2006: Proceedings of IEEE International Workshop on Horizontal Interactive Human-Computer Systems. IEEE Computer Society, pages 79-86, 2006. PDF Paper
Russell Kruger, M. Sheelagh T. Carpendale, Stacey D. Scott and Anthony Tang. Fluid Integration of Rotation and Translation. In CHI '05: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM Press, pages 601-610, 2005. PDF Paper
R. Kruger, M. S. T. Carpendale, T. Tang and S. Scott. Fluid Orientation on a Tabletop Display: Integrating Rotation and Translation. Research report 2004-747-12, Department of Computer Science, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, 2004. PDF Paper