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Five Attempts at Spatializing Code

Gina Venolia


Our group has had a longstanding design intuition that a stable, spatial representation of code could benefit software developers. A code "map" could help a developer stay oriented in code, see relationships and other overlays, and provide a common artifact to anchor developers' conversations. We have done a series of tools and studies around the idea. I will describe these systems, highlighting our understanding of spatial code has evolved, and finish with a demo of Code Canvas, our latest prototype.

This was an invited talk at IBM Almaden's New Paradigms in Using Computers (NPUC) 2009 ( The theme was The Future of Design and Software Development. Video of the talk is available at


Publication typeOther
Book titleNew Paradigms in Using Computers 2009 (NPUC09)
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