Apple doesn't support multitouch touchscreen input on the Mac. Their philosophy is that the Magic Pad, keyboard, and mouse are the best input methods for Desktop computing. In general that's probably true, but where's the fun in that? Tonight I had the urge to directly manipulate a map to explore the world.. so I plugged my 23" Acer Multitouch Monitor into my Macbook and set out to get it working.
After spending some quality time with Google I found https://sites.google.com/site/dawkeyscom/shop and https://touch-base.com. It looked promising. I dropped the money for the driver, downloaded and installed it, then gave it a try. Nothing. After a few hours in their documentation I found a companion "gestures" app that was the secret sauce. (http://touch-base.com/documentation/gestures.htm#GestureSettings).
In the end, it's a pretty clean solution that allows the multitouch input to come through as OS X gestures. This means that any software written to support standard gestures will work (and there is software out that allows you to specify new gestures). This is fantastic because it means I can write my own software using standard Cocoa Multitouch input gestures rather than rolling my own. And that means it will work happily on everyone's computers whether they do or don't have the awesome multitouch HID input device.