A Story-based Approach to Making Sense of Documents

Eric Bier, William Janssen, Patricia Wall, Jonas Karlsson, Tong Sun, Wei Peng, and Zahra Langford


Story-making, web-based tools, virtual reality, information retrieval, virtual tours, online museums


Many modern organizations use document collections as an important element of their businesses. They want to get as much value as possible from these collections. However, current tools are often oriented to finding and presenting individual documents; finding information in a collection can require examining many items, and users find little support for making sense of topics discussed in multiple documents or for sharing their understanding with others. This paper describes the Document Interactions project, which takes a story-based approach to making sense of documents. It combines a tool for creating stories from documents and images with a shared virtual space in which users can tour and discuss stories. We report on two studies: an ethnographic study of story use in a museum and a study in which subjects evaluated our tools.

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