Using 3d landscapes to navigate file systems: The mountain view interface

Tim Altom, Melynda Buher, Michael Downey, Anthony Faiola

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


A novel 3D file navigation interface is described, using the principle of visual recognition to locate and manipulate thumbnails of files. The interface, named "MountainView", uses concepts from video game environments, allowing the user to place, search for, and move thumbnails, as well as allowing direct application launch from the slopes of a 3D mountain that can be circumnavigated by the user. MountainView is currently in a conceptual form and being tested with paper prototypes. Early results indicate that users can more easily find files through recognition of 3D landmarks, but that unfamiliarity with the interface can be a barrier to acceptance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)645-649
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the International Conference on Information Visualization
StatePublished - 2004
EventProceedings - Eighth International Conference on Information Visualisation, IV 2004 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: Jul 14 2004Jul 16 2004


  • 3d user interfaces
  • Navigation
  • Spatial memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition


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