Navigation Variations (10-06-20)

Vaez and colleagues studied how people using different wayfinding tools traveled through a place they had never been before. Researchers worked with  “three groups of participants who used different navigational aids: a group with a paper map, a group with the Google Maps app, and a group relying on local signage only. . . .  participants who had never visited Brisbane, Australia. . . . undertook a two-hour pedestrian wayfinding task. . . . The GPS group preferred to follow the suggested route by their navigator, most of them ‘locking in’ as digital navigators throughout the task. By contrast, the local-signage-only group used a diverse range of strategies to wayfind. Local-signage-only and paper map users tried to locate their position in the city by using piloting or path integration strategies, the GPS group just passively followed the guidance line showed by their device. On completion of the task the digital navigators recognized less spatial information. Surprisingly, the digital navigators did not feel less anxious compared with the two other groups.”

Sima Vaez, Matthew Burke, and Rongrong Yu. 2020.  “Visitors’ Wayfinding Strategies and Navigational Aids in Unfamiliar Urban Environment.”  Tourism Geographies, vol. 22, no. 4-5, pp. 832-847,