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Exploring gardens of information, culture and language

Dave Snowdon, Antonietta Grasso, Frederique Segond
The theme of exploration is central to this paper. Not of a garden, per se, but of information spaces, other cultures and other languages. in the following sections we shall describe three different pieces of that all use exploration as a means for conveying information rather than focussed searches for specific information. Firstly, we shall talk about collaborative information visualisation in which people are considered as being part of the environment rather than observers of it and in which their actions are in principle as informative as the information being displayed. Secondly, we describe a system that attempts to bridge the culture gap between tourists and the inhabitants of the cities they visit. Thirdly, we describe some technology that could be employed by the first two examples to aid comprehension and learning of foreign languages by a process of exploration while using a foreign language. Finally, we shall attempt to show how these pieces of work could be combined to provide a multi-cultural garden of information.
Workshop on Arcadian Virtuality, i3 Spring Days, Sitges, Spain, March 1999.

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