Beyond Icons : Towards New Metaphors for Visual Query Languages for Spatial Information Systems
We argue that those metaphors currently used for the design of user interfaces to databases and for visual query languages are not sufficient in the context of spatial information systems for they do not take advantage of the natural intuitive properties of spatial data. The paper proposes a new metaphor for handling spatial data, termed the blackboard metaphor, which overcomes these drawbacks. Based upon this paradigm a fully-fledged visual logic query language for spatial information systems called Sketch! is introduced. Its major advantage is that it facilitates a very intuitive, natural way to express spatial queries.
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