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Users increasingly expect more-interactive experiences with public displays for applications including learning, gaming, urban visualization, and planning. However, user interaction with applications on public displays is challenging and often doesn't lend itself to established interaction techniques. Navigation using only freehand gestures captured with low-cost devices might often be an appropriate solution. A formal, quantitative lab experiment and an informal, qualitative field study compared freehand gestural interaction with keyboard-and-mouse interaction. No significant difference in navigation performance existed between the two interaction types. However, gestural interaction provided a more natural experience in both personal and public environments.