Identification and Analysis
of Features and Objects Relevant for Orientation and Navigation Using Virtual
University of the Federal Armed Forces Munich, Human Factors Institute
Duration : 2000 - 2002
Thorndyke & Stasz
stated 1980 that the process of becoming familiar with a new city or district
develops in a series of steps or 'levels of knowledge'. Initially we orient
ourselves by highly salient visual landmarks. The second level is the level
of route knowledge in which we get the ability to navigate from one spot
to another, using visual cues to guide the decision where to go next. Both,
landmark and route navigation are based on an egocentered frame of reference.
In the last level of geographic knowledge, the frame of reference is shifted
to a world-centered frame of reference and environmental knowledge is represented in our mind in a form, which Tolman in 1948 called 'cognitive maps'. This term 'map' was misleading for those, who do not read his papers carefully. Usual paper-maps are static in principle and Tolman thought with his term 'map' of something dynamic. One good description of that idea is formulated in the paper of Pasemann in 1996.
If the richness of the visual world is one important factor in becoming familiar with a new terrain, it is of great interest to learn something about the relevant visual cues for orientation and navigation. Computer generated virtual realities in different stages of visual resolution can help to get an answer to that question.
The answer to this
question is important for practical purposes too. Worldwide, the efforts
in constructing and programming virtual realities for training and research
climb up into the region of mega - dollars and - man-hours. If we could
be sure that a certain level of detail is sufficient to deliver the relevant
cues to the subjects of our training or research devices, our work could
be much easier.
Area of Research: cognitive psychology
Topics: geographic maps, context, navigation, motion, virtual reality, mental models, cognitive maps, perception
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