Social Psychological Effects of Landmark Uncertainty in Maps (Social Psy Uncertainty)

Social Psy Uncertainty

VGI-based maps are prone to large variations in the spatial accuracy of map elements displayed within these maps (Exel et al., 2010; Girres & Touya, 2010). This is due to the large number of contributors and the great variety of devices used to collect geo-information (Sieber & Haklay, 2015; Zandbergen & Barbeau, 2011). Because of this heterogeneity, it is difficult to assess the accuracy of specific map elements. The resulting uncertainty concerning the accuracy of map information could affect orientation and navigation performance, as well as the willingness to use VGI-based maps. In addition to these behavioral consequences, we assume that inaccurate map information might also affect psychological states of the map user. For example, being confronted with highly inaccurate map information in an orientation task might lead to a perceived loss of control of map users.

To test our assumption, we asked participants to match 2D maps to a virtual 3D environment containing a salient landmark building. The participants were assigned to two experimental groups. The control group perceived a landmark pictogram corresponding to the landmark building in the correct map location. In the experimental condition, the landmark pictogram was placed in a wrong map location. After the map matching task, participants were asked to fill out multiple questionnaires used to assess attitudes assumed to be affected by a perceived loss of control.

Experimental conditions, control on the left side, experimental on the right side

Fig.1 Experimental conditions. On the left side, the location of the landmark pictogram in the map corresponds to the location of the 3D landmark. On the right side, the location of the landmark pictogram in the map does not match the location of the 3D landmark.