I posted on this on the main Gameology blog, but MIT Technology Review has a video of a multi-touch interface design. This is like the user-end next step in the same way that Photosynth, which maps pictures and then allows users to see and explore them spatially, is a next step for visual displays.
For libraries, and almost everyone else, this won’t mean much in the near future, but it’s really important to the trajectory of where the massive data stores we’re building can go. Digital initiatives have largely (and rightly) focused on making materials digital. This is a foundational step in creating access, but building connections between the data will offer the same sort of rapid evolution in access and information. Just like the excellent books using archival research to make arguments, the new data connections will make new information and it will be information that can be explored, argued with, and accessed through even more means. I’m really excited to see more about how data can be mapped, connected, and accessed, and it’s always nice to see more people working to make it happen.