Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of GIS

pp 1-8

Date: Latest Version

Indoor Wayfinding Tools

  • Kai-Florian RichterAffiliated withDepartment of Geography, University of Zurich – Irchel Email author 


Location-based services; Navigation systems

Historical Background

Indoor wayfinding tools have been in use for a very long time. In fact, there is a very good chance that you are reading this entry in a building that employs the most basic tool: a systematic use of room numbers. Room numbers alone can already encode useful information as of where a specific room is located in a building.

Imagine a hotel where rooms 100–135 are located on the first floor, rooms 200–233 on the second floor, and so on. Such systematic use of room numbers allows for restricting the search space for a specific room to a single floor without knowing anything else about the hotel. If, upon exiting the lift at the respective floor, there are also signs telling in which direction to head for each room, for example, “100–116 to the left and 117–135 to the right”; then this implements a fully functional wayfinding tool for finding rooms in this hotel using only a very few simple measures. Airports work in a ...

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