Large surface computing devices (wall-mounted or tabletop) with touch interfaces and their application to collaborative data
analysis, an increasingly important and prevalent activity, is the primary topic of this book. Our goals are to outline the
fundamentals of surface computing (a still maturing technology), review relevant work on collaborative data analysis, describe
frameworks for understanding collaborative processes, and provide a better understanding of the opportunities for research
and development. We describe surfaces as display technologies with which people can interact directly, and emphasize how interaction
design changes when designing for large surfaces. We review efforts to use large displays, surfaces or mixed display environments
to enable collaborative analytic activity. Collaborative analysis is important in many domains, but to provide concrete examples
and a specific focus, we frequently consider analysis work in the security domain, and in particular the challenges security
personnel face in securing networks from attackers, and intelligence analysts encounter when analyzing intelligence data.
Both of these activities are becoming increasingly collaborative endeavors, and there are huge opportunities for improving
collaboration by leveraging surface computing. This work highlights for interaction designers and software developers the
particular challenges and opportunities presented by interaction with surfaces. We have reviewed hundreds of recent research
papers, and report on advancements in the fields of surface-enabled collaborative analytic work, interactive techniques for
surface technologies, and useful theory that can provide direction to interaction design work. We also offer insight into
issues that arise when developing applications for multi-touch surfaces derived from our own experiences creating collaborative
applications. We present these insights at a level appropriate for all members of the software design and development team.