Touching Transport – A Case Study on Visualizing Metropolitan Public Transit on Interactive Tabletops


Due to recent technical developments, urban systems generate large and complex data sets. While visualizations have been used to make these accessible, often they are tailored to one specific group of users, typically the public or expert users. We present Touching Transport, an application that allows a diverse group of users to visually explore public transit data on a multi-touch tabletop. It provides multiple perspectives of the data and consists of three visualization modes conveying tempo-spatial patterns as map, time-series, and arc view. We exhibited our system publicly, and evaluated it in a lab study with three distinct user groups: citizens with knowledge of the local environment, experts in the domain of public transport, and non-experts with neither local nor domain knowledge. Our observations and evaluation results show we achieved our goals of both attracting visitors to explore the data while enabling gathering insights for both citizens and experts. We discuss the design considerations in developing our system, and describe our lessons learned in designing engaging tabletop visualizations.

In Proceedings of the International Working Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces, pages 281-288, ACM.