Investigating the use of 3D graphics, haptics (touch), and sound for highway location planning

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9 Scopus citations


Planning of transportation infrastructure requires analyzing combinations of many different types of geospatial information (maps). Conventional Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or Computer Aided Design systems limit the planner's ability to perceive and effectively use multiple data layers together. To improve the planner's ability to interact with multiple layers of disparate spatial information, we present a novel computer system, which combines vision with haptics (touch) and sound. In this new form of Multi-Sensory Information System (MSIS), visual information is augmented by a three-dimensional haptic device (PHANToM) and by sound (sonification). In a recent study, we investigated how engineering students used this multi-sensory GIS for planning the location (the alignment) of a new road. The results indicate that certain forms of vision, haptics, and audio were used preferentially to represent certain types of spatial data. A generalization of such a multi-sensory approach could provide researchers with the basis for further development and, eventually, the augmentation of established procedures with the MSIS in highway location planning and related areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-38
Number of pages19
JournalComputer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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