Impact of navigation tools on pedestrian navigation: preliminary results


Since some experiments analyzed impact of navigation tools on pedestrian navigation (Ishikawa, Fujiwara, Imai & Okabe 2008; Wang & Worboys 2016) few have studied how interactive devices between mobile participants possibly transform their cognitive maps. After many years of interactive artistic experiences between participants in distant cities, the goal of the present research is a better understanding of the links between mental, instrumental and shared maps. The question is whether connected and dynamic applications renew our shared mental representations of urban spaces. We will approach the notion of mental maps (introduced by Tolman) in its individual and collective dimension with regard to the new uses created by connecting devices. The hypothesis is that new access to cartographic tools is likely to produce new kinds of individual mental representations. Method: in these preliminary results, the objective is to compare the mental maps evidenced by maps drawn after the exploration of a single urban district between 2 groups of participants: 1) group of individuals equipped simply with a passive GPS tracking tool, 2) group of individuals equipped with an urban navigation application (Google map). Measures will include: 1) comparison of landmarks hierarchies, 2) Comparison of routes traces and icons, 3) Direct comparison by distances between geographical landmarks and drawing landmarks by superposition of the two kinds of maps, 4) Relative comparison between internal distances in geographical landmarks and internal distances between drawings landmarks. We will compare the two groups relative to these measures. In these preliminary investigations, and contrary to some assumptions (Ishikawa, Wang) we cannot find obvious confirmation that pedestrian’s users of Google map have worse results from cognitive mapping that others without this device.

Keywords: cognitive maps; navigation tools; walks, pedestrian navigation; collective representation, collective interactions
Received on DD MM YYYY, accepted on DD MM YYYY, published on DD MM YYYY

Copyright © YYYY Author et al., licensed to EAI. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unlimited use, distribution and reproduction in any medium so long as the original work is properly cited.

doi: 10.4108/