VisTiles: Coordinating and Combining Co-located Mobile Devices for Visual Data Exploration

Ricardo Langner, Tom Horak, Raimund Dachselt.
In: IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics. IEEE, 626-636, 2018.
VIS '17 / TVCG Journal Article


We present VisTiles, a conceptual framework that uses a set of mobile devices to distribute and coordinate visualization views for the exploration of multivariate data. In contrast to desktop-based interfaces for information visualization, mobile devices offer the potential to provide a dynamic and user-defined interface supporting co-located collaborative data exploration with different individual workflows.

As part of our framework, we contribute concepts that enable users to interact with coordinated & multiple views (CMV) that are distributed across several mobile devices. The major components of the framework are:

  1. dynamic and flexible layouts for CMV focusing on the distribution of views and
  2. an interaction concept for smart adaptations and combinations of visualizations utilizing explicit side-by-side arrangements of devices.

As a result, users can benefit from the possibility to combine devices and organize them in meaningful spatial layouts. Furthermore, we present a web-based prototype implementation as a specific instance of our concepts. This implementation provides a practical application case enabling users to explore a multivariate data collection. We also illustrate the design process including feedback from a preliminary user study, which informed the design of both the concepts and the final prototype.


In a hurry? We also have a 30-second preview video.

Talk at IEEE VIS (InfoVis) 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona

The VisTiles paper has been presented at the IEEE VIS 2017 conference in the InfoVis paper session on Techniques. Watch the full talk held by Ricardo Langner:

The slides of the talk are also available as a PDF.


  author    = {Ricardo Langner and Tom Horak and Raimund Dachselt},
  title     = {{VisTiles}: Coordinating and Combining Co-located Mobile Devices for Visual Data Exploration},
  journal   = {{IEEE} Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics},
  volume    = {24},
  number    = {1},
  pages     = {626--636},
  year      = {2018},
  doi       = {10.1109/tvcg.2017.2744019},
  publisher = {IEEE},