Niklas Elmqvist, Ph.D.

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Synopsis: Computer-supported interactive navigation of 3D environments using a precomputed grand tour to facilitate quick familiarization of the environment.


  • (2007-12-10) ACM CHI 2008 - Our evaluation of the use of motion constraints for 3D wayfinding in immersive and desktop environments was just accepted as a full paper at CHI 2008 ! The conference will be held April 5-10, 2008 in Florence, Italy.
  • (2007-07-26) ACM VRST 2007 - Our work on the tour generation algorithm will be presented at ACM Virtual Reality Software & Technology 2007 in Newport Beach, USA.


  • Start date: May, 2006
  • Parent project: occmgt

Motion constraints providing guidance for 3D navigation have recently been suggested as a way of offloading some of the cognitive effort of traversing complex 3D environments on a computer. We present findings from an evaluation of the benefits of this practice where users achieved significantly better results in memory recall and performance when given access to such a guidance method. The study was conducted on both standard desktop computers with mouse and keyboard, as well as on an immersive CAVE system. Interestingly, our results also show that the improvements were more dramatic for desktop users than for CAVE users, even outperforming the latter. Furthermore, the study indicates that allowing the users to retain local control over the navigation on the desktop platform helps them in familiarizing themselves with the 3D world.

We also present an algorithm for automatically computing a path through a 3D world that exposes all of the objects. In other words, by following this 3D path, you will eventually see all targets in the world. Our approach is based on a special formulation of the travelling salesman problem (TSP), yet is fast and efficient even for general and very complex 3D worlds.



  • N. Elmqvist, M. Tudoreanu, P. Tsigas. Evaluating Motion Constraints for 3D Wayfinding in Immersive and Desktop Virtual Environments. In Proceedings of the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 1769-1778, 2008. [PDF] [YouTube] [SlideShare] [BibTeX] [Website]
  • N. Elmqvist, M. Tudoreanu, P. Tsigas. Tour Generation for Exploration of 3D Virtual Environments. In Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology, pp. 207-210, 2007. [PDF] [YouTube] [BibTeX] [Website]


Voxelization process for 3D spatial analysis. 3D navigation assistance in outdoor world. 3D navigation assistance in indoor world. 3D navigation assistance in information landscape. 3D navigation assistance in 3D conetree.