Showing Where To Go by Maps or Pictures: An Empirical Case Study at Subway Exits
This study empirically examined the effectiveness of different methods of presenting route information on a mobile navigation sysyem, for accurate and effortless orientation at subway exits. Specifically, it compared participants’ spatial orientation performance with pictures and maps, in relation to the levels of their spatial ability. Participants identified the directions toward the goals after coming onto the ground faster when viewing pictures than when viewing maps. Spatial orientation with maps was more difficult than that with pictures at exits where body rotation was necessary, especially for people with low mental-rotation ability. In contrast, pictures were equally effective for people with low and high mental-rotation ability. Reasons for the effectiveness of pictures and possibilities of using other presentation formats are discussed.
KeywordsSpatial orientation Navigational aids Route information Presentation formats Spatial representations
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