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Daniel C. Robbins


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Traditional pan and zoom techniques pose a challenge when navigating large information spaces on smartphones and other small-form-factor mobile devices. Our most recent project is ZoneZoom.

  • Divide view into nine segments
  • Map each segment to one of the number keys on a cel phone
  • Press number key: animate view to show selected segment
  • Quickly release key (tapping): view stays on selected segment
  • Releases key after holding down for more than a moment: view returns to the original view ("glance" at different areas)
  • Redivide current by pressing on the pound # key

We have optimized a specific implementation of the ZoneZoom technique for user as a Seattle area traffic conditions map navigator called SmartPhlow. A comprehensive explanation of the ZoneZoom technique is included in our AVI 2004 paper. SmartPhlow downloads a very small amount of data (250 bytes) from the WSDOT web site. This data is then used to change the color of road segments on a navigable map. We encourage you to download SmartPhlow and install it on your own Microsoft Smartphone!