Wayfinding in Real Cities: Experiments at Street Corners

  • Beatrix Emo
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7463)


Experimental evidence sheds new light on the role of spatial geometry for wayfinding in real urban environments. Eye-tracking is used in a desktop-based experiment to study where people look during wayfinding decisions when let to look freely or asked to find a taxi rank. Gaze patterns from these two tasks are compared with a subsequent recall task and analyzed in light of the topology of the street grid. Results show that decisions strongly favor more connected streets, and that fixation patterns respond to the spatial geometry of the stimuli in both the spatial decision-making and recall tasks. Controls single out the impacts of lighting and affordances in both the behavioral responses and gaze bias patterns; the presence of people and traffic serve as particularly strong attractors. The paper highlights the role of spatial geometry for individual spatial decision-making in real urban environments.


Wayfinding spatial configuration space syntax gaze bias individual 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beatrix Emo
    • 1
  1. 1.Bartlett School of Graduate StudiesUCLUK

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