Up, Down, Turn Around: Assisted Wayfinding Involving Level Changes

  • Stephany Bigler
  • Annina Brügger
  • Fiona Utzinger
  • Kai-Florian Richter
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8684)


Both maps and verbal descriptions have been shown to be an effective wayfinding assistance. However, most studies investigating these aids have been performed in two-dimensional spaces that ignore level changes. It seems less clear that both types of assistance work equally well in settings that involve going up some stairs or taking an elevator. In this paper, we present a study that had participants follow a route in a multi-level setting involving several level changes while being assisted by either a textual description or a sketch map. Results indicate that both types of assistance are effective and that the few differences in performance that we discovered can be attributed to differences in the employed wayfinding strategies rather than differences in the assistance types. Our findings have implications for the design of (mobile) assistance services that aim at using graphical instructions for guiding users seamlessly through indoor and outdoor environments.


route following description vs. depiction sketch map level change 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephany Bigler
    • 1
  • Annina Brügger
    • 1
  • Fiona Utzinger
    • 1
  • Kai-Florian Richter
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of ZurichSwitzerland

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