I2-[MapSpace] - Overview

Wayfinding with Schematic Maps


Project I2-[MapSpace] investigates human conceptualizations of wayfinding situations and how these conceptualizations inform the development of automatic wayfinding services. Today's navigation services, such as Internet route planners or car navigation systems, provide instructions in a uniform way that (partly) violates human spatial communication and does not adapt to varying information needs due to changes in environment or kind of user. In our project we aim at bridging this gap between user and system perspective of space. The resulting assistance means are better understandable and easier to use as their design principles adhere to human understanding of and communication about space. Specifically, we investigate adaptation mechanisms in spatial representations, wayfinding maps, and propositional route directions. Research follows a cycle of developing theories, implementing them in prototypical systems, evaluating prototypes in human subject tests which results then feed back to the theories. A fundamental method employed in the project is schematization. Schematization refers to the process of intentionally simplifying a representation beyond technical requirements to achieve cognitive adequacy. Some examples of such schematic wayfinding assistance means are µMaps – maps that adapt the information presentation to the level of knowledge of the wayfinder – and context-specific route directions – instructions that adapt to spatial situations at hand through the integration of landmarks and adaptive segmentation of instructions.