While most gesture-oriented applications target novice users, we also aim at designing gesture-based interaction for expert users who navigate and manipulate large datasets. In this context of advanced graphical applications, the number of gestures should be large-enough to cover the set of controls (i.e., commands and parameters settings) but remain simple so as to avoid exceeding human abilities. Making gesture-based interaction scale with graphical applications’ growing complexity can be achieved only by understanding the foundational aspects of this input modality, that will be investigated during this PhD. The candidate will work on characterizing and structuring both the space of application controls and the space of surface gestures in order to establish guidelines for appropriate control-gesture mappings. The resulting control-gesture mappings will be demonstrated in the specific application domains of cartography and astronomy.