|M.Sc Student||Lindenfeld Irit|
|Subject||Is Overall Visibility Sufficient in Indoor Wayfinding?|
The Role of Global and Local Landmarks
|Department||Department of Industrial Engineering and Management||Supervisors||ASSOCIATE PROF. Avi Parush|
|ASSOCIATE PROF. Dafna Fisher Gewirtzm|
Landmarks are critical for orientation and navigation both outdoors and indoors. Global landmarks were found as influential in outdoors orientation and navigation, but they are not as available indoors. Consequently, there is almost no research on the influence of indoor landmarks, in general, and of global landmarks in particular. By definition, the influence of global landmarks is due to their visibility and since architectural aspects afford indoors visibility, this study focused on the influence of global and local landmarks indoors.
The research question is: would a structure that affords greater visibility be associated with greater influence of global landmarks? We studied this question through the relative memorability of global and local landmarks in two identical structures, one with greater visibility (transparent walls) and reduced visibility (opaque walls). We assessed the relative memorability of global and local landmarks in a pilot study and a large online study, and found that global landmarks were relatively more memorable, but there were no differences in relative memorability between the structures. A follow-up study using both self-report and eye tracking, showed the same relative memorability results. However, there were differences in eye movements showing that participants attended more to global landmarks in the transparent structure compared to the opaque structure. Also, there was an indication that participants were forming a mental map, since eye-tracking data showed a high number and long fixations of route ahead rather than on landmarks.
The results are discussed in terms of the role of landmarks during navigation in comparison to their relative memorability.