Taxonomy of Human Wayfinding Tasks: A Knowledge-Based Approach

This source preferred by Jan Wiener

Authors: Wiener, J.M., Büchner, S.J. and Hölscher, C.

Journal: Spatial Cognition and Computation

Volume: 9

Pages: 152-165

ISSN: 1387-5868

DOI: 10.1080/13875860902906496

Although the term “Wayfinding” has been defined by several authors, it subsumes a whole set of tasks that involve different cognitive processes, drawing on different cognitive components. Research on wayfinding has been conducted with different paradigms using a variety of wayfinding tasks. This makes it difficult to compare the results and implications of many studies. A systematic classification is needed in order to determine and investigate the cognitive processes and structural components of how humans solve wayfinding problems. Current classifications of wayfinding distinguish tasks on a rather coarse level or do not take the navigator's knowledge, a key factor in wayfinding, into account. We present an extended taxonomy of wayfinding that distinguishes tasks by external constraints as well as by the level of spatial knowledge that is available to the navigator. The taxonomy will help to decrease ambiguity of wayfinding tasks and it will facilitate understanding of the differentiated demands a navigator faces when solving wayfinding problems.

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