Elements of Good Route Directions in Familiar and Unfamiliar Environments

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1661)


Route directions are instructions, primarily verbal, that explain how to get from one place to another. The current study examines several methods for assessing the quality of verbal route directions by characterizing them in terms of the number of elements (such as landmarks, segments or turns) and by subjective ratings of their goodness. Route directions for routes which were both familiar and unfamiliar to the participant were studied. Subjective ratings of the quality of route directions were reliable and consistent across individuals. More complete route directions were rated as being of higher quality. For all routes, inclusion of more segment and turn mentions were correlated with higher quality route directions. Good route descriptions for familiar versus unfamiliar routes differed in terms of the types of landmarks included.


Spatial language Route directions Familiarity 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. of PsychologyUniversity of CaliforniaSanta Barbara
  2. 2.Dept. of GeographyUniversity of CaliforniaSanta Barbara

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