The Nature of Landmarks for Real and Electronic Spaces

  • Molly E. Sorrows
  • Stephen C. Hirtle
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1661)


Landmarks are significant in one’s formation of a cognitive map of both physical environments and electronic information spaces. Landmarks are defined in physical space as having key characteristics that make them recognizable and memorable in the environment. The challenge of defining measurable features of landmarks that can be used in designing and recognizing landmarks in information spaces is explored. By drawing on diverse areas such as urban planning, architecture, cognitive science and hypertext, a coherent definition of a landmark is proposed, which is relevant to both physical and electronic spaces. It is argued that landmarks can be classified in terms of visual, cognitive and structural dimensions, which has implications for how environments can be designed or built in such a way that landmarks will emerge appropriately for unique situations.


Landmarks navigation physical space electronic space hypertxt 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Molly E. Sorrows
    • 1
  • Stephen C. Hirtle
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Information SciencesUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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