The Effects of Landmarks on Navigation Performance in VGI-based Maps

Professor Dr. Frank Dickmann
Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Geographisches Institut, Arbeitsgruppe Geomatik, Universitätsstraße 150, 44801 Bochum

Professor Dr. Lars Kuchinke
Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Fakultät für Psychologie, Arbeitsgruppe Experimentelle, Psychologie und Methodenlehre, Universitätsstraße 150, 44801 Bochum

Landmarks play an essential role in different map-reading tasks as well as in the formation of mental models of space. They serve asreference frames that support orientation performance, which is necessary for correct wayfinding when solving navigation tasks. In terms of methodology, the analysis of Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) for the first time allows that discriminating between active and passive salience is no longer necessary in order to investigate the effects of landmarks on orientation and (spatial) memory performances. Since the volunteers of VGI are map producers and users at the same time, the analysis of map-users performances (e.g. eye-movement registration) will provide insights in the underlying cognitive processes that help to identify methodological / theoretical principles of using and, especially, constructing visualizations of VGI. Such user-defined, empirically obtained landmarks or landmark clusters in VGI-based visualizations are an indicator of the amount and density of landmarks (and their spatial arrangement in maps) necessary to solve map-based spatial orientation and memory tasks. The aim of the project is to identify and quantify the specific landmark arrangements (clusters of landmarks) that support a cognitive regionalization and structuring of the map surface depending on the particular task of a map user. It is expected that landmarks are clustered in spatial patterns increasing the map user s spatial memory performance in map-based route learning and navigation tasks. The outcomes of this project will provide theoretical foundations and application-oriented propositions for the development of automatic extraction processes of landmark arrangement design in maps.