Cartography Meets Gaming: Navigating Globes, Block Diagrams and 2D Maps with Gamepads and Joysticks

Adrian Weber, Bernhard Jenny, Matthias Wanner, Juliane Cron, Philipp Marty, Lorenz Hurni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Gamepads and joysticks have the potential to improve spatial navigation in virtual globes, block diagrams and 2D maps. Digital school atlases, in particular, can become more engaging if support for gamepads and joysticks is added, as children and adolescents are very proficient at using these devices. The fusion of gaming devices and interactive school atlases offers interesting new use cases: Teachers can control a digital wall map with a remote-control gamepad while lecturing from the front of the classroom, or students can explore maps on their personal computers using an enticing way to interact. This paper presents these use cases, the characteristics of the most common gaming devices, and discusses spatial navigation with gamepads and joysticks for globes, block diagrams and 2D maps. The ideas presented originated from the ongoing development of a new, interactive version of the Swiss World Atlas for schools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-100
Number of pages9
JournalCartographic Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • digital atlas
  • digital block diagram
  • game controllers
  • jinput
  • NASA World Wind
  • school atlas
  • spatial navigation
  • Swiss World Atlas
  • virtual globe

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