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AGILE 2015 pp 253–267Cite as

“Turn Left” Versus “Walk Towards the Café”: When Relative Directions Work Better Than Landmarks

Part of the Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography book series (LNGC)

Abstract

An automatic mechanism that gives verbal navigation instructions to pedestrians in situ needs to take into account a number of factors. Besides giving the instruction at the right time and place, the information needs to be as unambiguous as possible for the user to both choose the correct path and be confident in doing so. Humans make extensive use of landmarks when describing the way to others and are more successful following instructions that include landmarks. We present a study comparing landmark-based instructions with relative direction instructions on pedestrians in a real city environment, measuring both objective and subjective success. We find that at some decision points, relative direction instructions work better. We present a method that uses openly available geographic data to predict which kind of instruction is preferable at a given decision point.

Keywords

  • Route instructions
  • Wayfinding
  • Pedestrians
  • Landmarks
  • Open geographic data

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Note that there is still some variability in the GPS signal.

  2. 2.

    This varied due to some construction work that we needed to circumnavigate to get the participants to the starting point.

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Correspondence to Jana Götze .

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Götze, J., Boye, J. (2015). “Turn Left” Versus “Walk Towards the Café”: When Relative Directions Work Better Than Landmarks. In: Bacao, F., Santos, M., Painho, M. (eds) AGILE 2015. Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16787-9_15

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