Showing Where To Go by Maps or Pictures: An Empirical Case Study at Subway Exits

  • Toru Ishikawa
  • Tetsuo Yamazaki
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5756)


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.


Spatial orientation Navigational aids Route information Presentation formats Spatial representations 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aiken, L.S., West, S.G.: Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. Sage, Thousand Oaks (1991)Google Scholar
  2. Bessho, M., Kobayashi, S., Koshizuka, N., Sakamura, K.: A space-identifying ubiquitous infrastructure and its application for tour-guiding service. In: SAC 2008: Proceedings of the 23rd Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing, pp. 1616–1621 (2008)Google Scholar
  3. Bradley, N.A., Dunlop, M.D.: An experimental investigation into wayfinding directions for visually impaired people. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing 9, 395–403 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Coors, V., Elting, C., Kray, C., Laakso, K.: Presenting route instructions on mobile devices: From textual directions to 3D visualization. In: Dykes, J., MacEachren, A.M., Kraak, M.-J. (eds.) Exploring geovisualization, pp. 529–550. Elsevier, Amsterdam (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. DeLoache, J.S.: Becoming symbol-minded. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 8, 66–70 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Denis, M., Michon, P.-E., Tom, A.: Assisting pedestrian wayfinding in urban settings: Why references to landmarks are crucial in direction-giving. In: Allen, G.L. (ed.) Applied spatial cognition, pp. 25–51. Erlbaum, Mahwah (2006)Google Scholar
  7. Dillemuth, J.: Map design evaluation for mobile display. Cartography and Geographic Information Science 32, 285–301 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gartner, G., Cartwright, W., Peterson, M.P. (eds.): Location based services and telecartography. Springer, Berlin (2007)Google Scholar
  9. Hightower, J., Borriello, G.: Location systems for ubiquitous computing. Computer 34(8), 57–66 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ishikawa, T., Fujiwara, H., Imai, O., Okabe, A.: Wayfinding with a GPS-based mobile navigation system: A comparison with maps and direct experience. Journal of Environmental Psychology 28, 74–82 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Klippel, A., Winter, S.: Structural salience of landmarks for route directions. In: Cohn, A.G., Mark, D.M. (eds.) COSIT 2005. LNCS, vol. 3693, pp. 347–362. Springer, Heidelberg (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Levine, M., Jankovic, I.N., Palij, M.: Principles of spatial problem solving. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 111, 157–175 (1982)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Levine, M., Marchon, I., Hanley, G.: The placement and misplacement of you-are-here maps. Environment and Behavior 16, 139–157 (1984)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Liben, L.S., Downs, R.M.: Understanding person-space-map relations: Cartographic and developmental perspectives. Developmental Psychology 29, 739–752 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Liben, L.S., Kastens, K.A., Stevenson, L.M.: Real-world knowledge through real-world maps: A developmental guide for navigating the educational terrain. Developmental Review 22, 267–322 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Nurminen, A., Oulasvirta, A.: Designing interactions for navigation in 3D mobile maps. In: Meng, L., Zipf, A., Winter, S. (eds.) Map-based mobile services, pp. 198–227. Springer, Berlin (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Plesa, M.A., Cartwright, W.: Evaluating the effectiveness of non-realistic 3D maps for navigation with mobile devices. In: Meng, L., Zipf, A., Winter, S. (eds.) Map-based mobile services, pp. 80–104. Springer, Berlin (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Radoczky, V.: How to design a pedestrian navigation system for indoor and outdoor environments. In: Gartner, G., Cartwright, W., Peterson, M.P. (eds.) Location based services and telecartography, pp. 301–316. Springer, Berlin (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Raubal, M., Winter, S.: Enriching wayfinding instructions with local landmarks. In: Egenhofer, M.J., Mark, D.M. (eds.) GIScience 2002. LNCS, vol. 2478, pp. 243–259. Springer, Heidelberg (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Reagan, I., Baldwin, C.L.: Facilitating route memory with auditory route guidance systems. Journal of Environmental Psychology 26, 146–155 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Richter, K.-F., Klippel, A.: A model for context-specific route directions. In: Freksa, C., Knauff, M., Krieg-Brückner, B., Nebel, B., Barkowsky, T. (eds.) Spatial Cognition IV. LNCS, vol. 3343, pp. 58–78. Springer, Heidelberg (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Streeter, L.A., Vitello, D., Wonsiewicz, S.A.: How to tell people where to go: Comparing navigational aids. International Journal of Man-Machine Studies 22, 549–562 (1985)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Warren, D.H., Scott, T.E.: Map alignment in traveling multisegment routes. Environment and Behavior 25, 643–666 (1993)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Winter, S.: Route adaptive selection of salient features. In: Kuhn, W., Worboys, M.F., Timpf, S. (eds.) COSIT 2003. LNCS, vol. 2825, pp. 349–361. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Toru Ishikawa
    • 1
  • Tetsuo Yamazaki
    • 2
  1. 1.Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies & Center for Spatial Information ScienceUniversity of TokyoTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of Frontier SciencesUniversity of TokyoChibaJapan

Personalised recommendations