direkt zum Inhalt springen

direkt zum Hauptnavigationsmenü

Sie sind hier

TU Berlin

Page Content

Using Maps for Orientation and Interaction in Space

Every day we orientate in space. Often we are not aware of this process. However, as soon as we are in an alien environment, e.g. on vacation or in an unfamiliar building, orientation in space needs careful consideration and much of our attention. Many navigational aids support the way-finding process, for instance information signs, maps or navigation devices. The latter enjoy great popularity because of their ability of automatic positioning and calculation of routes. Nevertheless, when it comes to indoor environments these functions are very limited due to weak or no GPS-signals within buildings. Alternative positioning methods e.g. WLAN or Wi-Fi are not ready for mass market yet. They are either too inaccurate or too expensive to implement. So why focus on traditional paper maps? Many aspects suggest that: we are used to them, they are clearly arranged, they work without electricity, it is possible to make notes on them, we can keep them as memory and if we lose them, we can cheaply replace them.

Since 2008, in collaboration with the department of geodesy and geoinformation science, we explore how pedestrians orientate themselves using paper maps as navigational aid in buildings.


Main Focus of Research:


1.    Sociology of Space
2.    Methods of Social Research

Goals:

This is an interdisciplinary study between geodesy and sociology:

From a geodesist’s perspective, this project is interesting because we test many different variations of maps using a wide range of cartographic techniques. We do this in order to answer the question of how maps should be designed to provide the optimal guidance for their users.

Looking from a sociologist’s stance, maps are communication media that provide the user with information about space. To study different cartographic methods and their suitability for efficient indoor navigation empirically enables us to get a deeper insight in the processes of orientation and in the construction of space.

That implies different research goals:

•    The development of optimal designed maps for indoor navigation that
      guide the user along predetermined routes through a building forcing
      them to use or to avoid designated paths or areas.
•    Adaptation of maps to the user’s needs (e.g. via implementing
      information that are important to the user such as gastronomic
      or cultural propositions)
•    Ensure the spatial conception of the route to provide the user
      with a sense of familiarity and independence and to influence
      her memories and associations with a place in a positive way.

To be more specific, up to now we varied the following aspects: complexity of the route, representational perspective (2D versus 3D), level of detail as well as the use of landmarks and of relevant information for the user.
 

Lupe

Data and Methods:

Since 2009, we conduct annually social experiments (factorial design without control group) during an event called „Long Night of Science”. A social experiment is a test arrangement to identify causal relations. We apply a mixed method research design consisting of surveys and focused ethnography.

During the “Long Night of Science”, co-workers of the sociologic team talk to visitors at the main entrance of the main building and ask them for their participation. In order to grasp familiarity with the test location, orientation behavior, prior experience, and personal characteristics, participants should answer an a-priori survey before being assigned a map and a route. The experiment itself is organized as a race, so that two parties (single persons or groups) compete against each other, one using the Eastern route and one the Western route. Both routes start in front of the main auditorium within the entrance area of the main building of TU Berlin and lead to the Geodätenstand, a geodetic laboratory on the roof of the building. After arriving at the (same) destination, participants are asked to answer an a-posteriori survey and open-ended questions in order to assess the participants’ navigational approach, their motivation for participation, as well as their experience with the route and especially with the provided map. In addition, we conduct a focused ethnography along the route, i.e., coworkers observe the participants during the navigational task in order to see how they orientate within the building. Therefore, we seek to analyze the process of orientation, spatial practices and the construction of space from a sociologic view.

Collaboration:

Department of Geodesy and Geoinformation Science

Duration:

2008 project preparation stage
Since 2009 annual survey waves at the Long Night of Science

Contact:

Cornelia Thierbach



Publications:


Lorenz, Alexandra / Thierbach, Cornelia / Baur, Nina. und Kolbe, Thomas, H. (2013). Map Design Aspects, route complexity, or Social Background? Factors Influencing User Satisfaction with Indoor Navigation Maps. In: CaGis 40 (3). 201-209.

Lorenz, Alexandra / Thierbach, Cornelia / Baur, Nina und Kolbe, Thomas, H. (2013). App-Free Zone: Paper Maps as Alternative to Electronic Indoor Navigation Aids and Their Empirical Evaluation with Large User Bases. In: Progress in Location-based Services, 319-338.

Lorenz, Alexandra; Thierbach, Cornelia (2012): Bewusst wo? Gewusst wie! Entwicklung innovativer kartographischer Methoden zur effektiven Navigation in Innenräumen. In: Sven Weisbrich und Robert Kaden (Hg.): Entwicklerforum Geodäsie und Geoinformationstechnik 2011 – Junge Wissenschaftler forschen. Aachen: Shaker Verlag, S. 89-100.

Thierbach, Cornelia (2011): Raumorientierung und Interaktion in Gebäuden. Diplomarbeit. Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin. Institut für Soziologie.

Lorenz, Alexandra; Thierbach, Cornelia; Kolbe, Thomas H.; Baur, Nina (2010): Untersuchung der Effizienz und Akzeptanz von 2D- und 3D-Kartenvarianten für die Innenraumnavigation. In: Gerald Kohlhofer und Michael Franzen (Hg.): Vorträge Dreiländertagung OVG, DGPF und SGPF - 30. Wissenschaftlich-Technische Jahrestagung der DGPF, Bd. 19. Wien: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photogrammetrie, Fernerkundung und Geoinformation (DGPF), S. 342‐355.

Presentations:

Map Design Aspects, route complexity, or Social Background? Factors Influencing User Satisfaction with Indoor Navigation Maps. Vortrag auf der Session “Usability 1” auf der 26th International Cartographic Conference, 25.08. – 30.08.2013, Dresden (Deutschland).

App-Free Zone: Paper Maps as Alternative to Electronic Indoor Navigation Aids and Their Empirical Evaluation with Large User Bases. Vortrag auf der Session “Interactions, User Studies and Evaluations” auf dem 9th Symposium on Location Based Services 2012, 16.10 – 18.10.2012, München (Deutschland).

Mixing Survey and Focused Ethnography within a Social Experiment: the Case of Construction of Space. Vortrag auf der Session “Comparative Analysis of Qualitative and Quantitative Data” auf der “8th International Conference on Social Science Methodology”, 09.07 – 13.07.2012, Sydney (Australien).

A Research Design for Interdisciplinary Research. The Case of Collaboration between Sociology and Geodesy. Vortrag auf der Session “Exploring Collaboration and Partnerships in Social Research” auf der “8th International Conference on Social Science Methodology”, 09.07 – 13.07.2012, Sydney (Australien).Bewusst wo? Gewusst wie! Entwicklung innovativer kartographischer Methoden zur effektiven Navigation in Innenräumen. Vortrag auf der Session „Kartographie“ des „Entwicklerforums Geodäsie und Geoinformationstechnik“, 06.10. – 07.10.2011, Berlin (Deutschland).

Untersuchung der Effizienz und Akzeptanz von 2D- und 3D-Kartenvarianten für die Innenraumnavigation. Vortrag auf der Session „Geodäsie / Allgemein“ auf der „Dreiländertagung – 30. wissenschaftlich-technische Jahrestagung der DGPF (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photogrammetrie, Fernerkundung und Geoinformation e.V.)“, 01.07 – 03.07.2010, Wien (Österreich).
 
 

 

Futher information / downloads
Set up of the experiment (2013, german version)
What are methods? (2013, german version)
Why sociology? (2013, german version)
id-system (2009, german version)
First results (2009, german version)

 

 

Zusatzinformationen / Extras

Quick Access:

Schnellnavigation zur Seite über Nummerneingabe

Auxiliary Functions