Visual and spatial communication and task organization using the visual knowledge builder Conference Paper uri icon


  • When people share a workspace, they naturally create visual structures which organize resources, communicate interpretations, and coordinate activities. To support this mode of communication and coordination we have built the Visual Knowledge Builder (VKB.) VKB supports the incremental visual interpretation of information. Through the emergence and evolution of visual languages, communication between VKB users sharing a workspace grows over time. VKB has been used for two years in note taking, writing, curriculum development, project management, and conference organization. These tasks include short- and long-term synchronous and asynchronous activities. Features such as the recognition of implicit spatial structure and navigable history facilitate the authoring and comprehension of shared visual information spaces. VKB has also been used in a more controlled setting by pairs of people writing a poem with a constrained vocabulary. This use of VKB has been compared to the same task using Magnetic Poetry sets to better understand how the characteristics of the tools and information space impact collaborative practice.

published proceedings

  • Proceedings of the International ACM SIGGROUP Conference on Supporting Group Work

author list (cited authors)

  • Shipman, F., Airhart, R., Hsieh, H., Maloor, P., Moore, J. M., & Shah, D.

complete list of authors

  • Shipman, F||Airhart, R||Hsieh, H||Maloor, P||Moore, JM||Shah, D

publication date

  • January 2001