Spaces or scenes: Map-based orientation in urban environments

Clare Davies, David Peebles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Two experiments examined people's strategies when orienting with a map in outdoor scenes within unfamiliar urban environments.We investigated how the 3D visual scene and the 2D layout geometry influenced people's choices of features when matching the scene and the map, and studied the problems they encountered when doing so. Results support previous evidence that in geographically realistic contexts, visible salient landmarks bias people away from using optimal geometry-matching strategies. This implies that prediction of orientation difficulty merely from analysing the spatial layout (e.g., with space syntax isovist measures)may be highly problematic. Implications for future map design are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-156
Number of pages22
JournalSpatial Cognition and Computation
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010


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