Cognitive Issues

Cognition and Wayfinding

3608.2 - An Investigation in to Challenges Experienced When Planning Routes, Navigating and Wayfinding

Monday, July 3
3:10 PM - 3:30 PM
Location: Maryland C

Despite the amount of geospatial data and mapping platforms available, some map users still experience difficulties when attempting to route plan, navigate and/or wayfind. This paper focuses on identifying the nature of the difficulties/challenges these users experience. The paper draws on findings from studies of strategies used by novice and experienced map users, and users with poor spatial abilities, to identify the skills that those with poor spatial abilities or with less map reading experience lack. Data was collected using Tobii Pro Glasses 2 hard-ware and associated software. Fourteen participants walked between two predetermined locations whilst wearing eye-tracking glasses and speaking their thoughts aloud. The data collected in this study were analysed using quantitative and qualitative approaches. Analysis of the findings shows that from this particular population group, three key findings existed: looking at the map incessantly led to missed environmental cues; street names were not labelled at decision-making points in the map and finally, some individuals with poor spatial abilities, prefer small scale landmarks, i.e. buildings with numbers to locate themselves as op-posed to road names or larger landmarks. The paper argues that using these findings, map designs can be adjusted to meet the needs of map users with poor spatial abilities, and concludes by suggesting that by making maps tailored to the skills of the user, maps can be more easily interpreted and user-friendly.

William Cartwright

RMIT University

Professor William Cartwright AM is Professor of Cartography in the School of Science at RMIT University, Austtralia. He teaches in th fields of Cartography and Distributed Mapping. His major research interest is the application of integrated media to cartography and the exploration of different metaphorical approaches to the depiction of geographical information.


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Sara Irina Fabrikant

University of Zurich

Sara Irina Fabrikant, a Swiss Mapematician and Geography Professor is Head Teaching of the Geography Department at the University of Zurich, where she also heads the Geographic Information Visualisation and Analysis Group. She currently serves the ICA as a Vice President. Her research interests lie in geovisual analytics, GIScience and cognition, and dynamic cartography. She is a member of the Swiss Science & Innovation Council. She has been the program committee co-chair of various conferences (e.g., AGILE 2008, GIScience 2010, CartoCon 2014, COSIT 2015), and also serves as a member of various editorial journal boards in her field of research.


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3608.2 - An Investigation in to Challenges Experienced When Planning Routes, Navigating and Wayfinding


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