Utterly Lost: Methods for Reducing Disorientation in 3-D Fly-Over Maps
Authors: Harrower, Mark; Sheesley, Ben
Source: Cartography and Geographic Information Science, 31 January 2007, vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 17-27(11)
Abstract:Fly-over animated terrain maps have become increasingly popular as overview / reference maps, despite years of research that demonstrates how easily disoriented viewers can become when using them. This project developed four kinds of visual "orientation cues" which are designed to decrease viewer disorientation, and which could be directly embedded into the map scene similar to heads-up-display technology. The effectiveness of these orientation cues was tested. Compared to a map with no orientation cues, the presence of the monorail and landscape grid orientation cues halved subjects' directional error; the horizon compass cue virtually eliminated directional error. Correspondingly, subjects were significantly more confident in their answers and thought the tasks were significantly easier in the presence of these three cues. Similar results were found in the ability of subjects to trace their flight path, although their improvement is less pronounced. However, the fourth orientation cue, landmark labels, was ineffective and created similar (or worse) performance than the map with no orientation cues.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 31, 2007