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Spalender: A Spatial Calendar on a Public Display

This is a completed project.


Portable paper calendars (i.e., day planners and organizers) have greatly influenced the design of group electronic calendars. Both use time units (hours/days/weeks/etc.) to organize visuals, with useful information (e.g., event types, locations, attendees) usually presented as – perhaps abbreviated or even hidden – text fields within those time units. The problem is that, for a group, this visual sorting of individual events into time buckets conveys only limited information about the social network of people. For example, people’s whereabouts cannot be read ‘at a glance’ but require examining the text. Our goal is to explore an alternate visualization that can reflect and illustrate group members’ calendar events. Our main idea is to display the group’s calendar events as spatiotemporal activities occurring over a geographic space animated over time, all presented on a highly interactive public display. In particular, our SPALENDAR (SPAtial CALENDAR) design animates people’s past, present and forthcoming movements between event locations as well as their static locations. Detail of people’s events, their movements and their locations is progressively revealed and controlled by the viewer’s proximity to the display, their identity, and their gestural interactions with it, all of which are tracked by the public display.


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