Ease Wayfinding

Wayfinding and Similarity (11-16-21)

Researchers have investigated why we get lost in places that are similar to other areas we’re familiar with.  Zheng lead a team that found that “the brain may treat similar environments as if they are even more different than a pair of environments that have nothing in common. The concept is known to brain scientists as ‘repulsion.’ . . .  Ekstrom points to a visit to a restaurant. There are many aspects about dining out that will always be the same – being seated, ordering food and waiting for the meal.

Traveling Through Cities (10-25-21)

Bongiorno and colleagues set out to learn more about how people find their way through cities.  The group reports that they “analyze salient features of human path planning through a statistical analysis of a massive dataset of GPS traces, which reveals that (1) people increasingly deviate from the shortest path when the distance between origin and destination increases and (2) chosen paths are statistically different when origin and destination are swapped.

Traveling Through Underground Malls (07-07-21)

Zhang and Park assessed behavior in underground malls.  They share that “a series of exit-finding tasks in virtual malls were simulated. . . . people have a right-turn preference during exit finding.”

Shaoqing Zhang and Soobeen Park.  “Study of Effective Corridor Design to Improve Wayfinding in Underground Malls.” Frontiers in Psychology, in press, doi:  10.3389/fpsyg.2021.631531

Navigating, With and Without GPS (07-06-21)

Heft, Schwimmer, and Edmunds studied the implications of using visual navigation systems, such as GPS. They report that “One group of participants drove a simulated car in VR along a designated path while relying on visual GPS guidance. It was expected that use of the GPS display would draw attention away from temporally continuous path information. A second group initially drove the same route without GPS guidance. Both groups drove the path a second time without navigational assistance.

Learning About Spaces (06-09-21)

Miola and teammates set out to better understand how the form of a place influences the ease with which we learn its spatial information.  The group reports that “Field of view (FOV) allows us to perceive and learn our environment. Reducing the visual field impairs our ability to estimate distance and direction. It has been demonstrated that distance is estimated more accurately in outdoor environment (a lawn) than in indoors (hallway or lobby). . . .

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