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Wayfinding in scene space: modelling transfers in public transport


Rüetschi, U J. Wayfinding in scene space: modelling transfers in public transport. 2007, University of Zurich, Faculty of Science.

Abstract

One of the characteristics of public transport is the need for transfers. During transfers, travellers are pedestrian wayfinders and have to find their way from the place of arrival to the place of departure of another means of transport.
Wayfinding in public transport takes place in two types of spaces: network space and scene space. Network space includes the transport network. Scene space consists of the halls, squares, and platforms at interchange nodes;
it lacks an obvious network structure. Published timetables allow pre-trip wayfinding in network space, but wayfinding in scene space requires interaction with the actual environment, using the information provided therein.
The theory of image schemata (cognitive patterns that structure our perceptions and actions) suggests that structural information is immediately usable.
Other types of information, notably signage, require conscious effort to use.
This research is about transfers in railway stations, i.e., wayfinding in scene space. I hypothesise that structural information provided by the architectural layout is enough to guide travellers through railway stations. Computational modelling is used to test this hypothesis. Image schemata
form the cognitive basis for a formal model of scene space, called Schematic Geometry. A software agent is developed next and used to simulate wayfinding tasks in Schematic Geometry models of two railway stations.
Results indicate that structural information supports wayfinding, but is not always enough to find optimal routes. Previews of parts of the environment are found to be highly effective wayfinding aids that build on human
object recognition rather than on sign reading. Conclusions are that humans integrate information from various sources and of different types to achieve good wayfinding performance; well designed architecture can further support
wayfinding by providing structural clues and previews.
This thesis contributes to our understanding of wayfinding, especially the information needs for wayfinding in scene space, and provides a cognitively motivated but formal model of scene space, Schematic Geometry.

One of the characteristics of public transport is the need for transfers. During transfers, travellers are pedestrian wayfinders and have to find their way from the place of arrival to the place of departure of another means of transport.
Wayfinding in public transport takes place in two types of spaces: network space and scene space. Network space includes the transport network. Scene space consists of the halls, squares, and platforms at interchange nodes;
it lacks an obvious network structure. Published timetables allow pre-trip wayfinding in network space, but wayfinding in scene space requires interaction with the actual environment, using the information provided therein.
The theory of image schemata (cognitive patterns that structure our perceptions and actions) suggests that structural information is immediately usable.
Other types of information, notably signage, require conscious effort to use.
This research is about transfers in railway stations, i.e., wayfinding in scene space. I hypothesise that structural information provided by the architectural layout is enough to guide travellers through railway stations. Computational modelling is used to test this hypothesis. Image schemata
form the cognitive basis for a formal model of scene space, called Schematic Geometry. A software agent is developed next and used to simulate wayfinding tasks in Schematic Geometry models of two railway stations.
Results indicate that structural information supports wayfinding, but is not always enough to find optimal routes. Previews of parts of the environment are found to be highly effective wayfinding aids that build on human
object recognition rather than on sign reading. Conclusions are that humans integrate information from various sources and of different types to achieve good wayfinding performance; well designed architecture can further support
wayfinding by providing structural clues and previews.
This thesis contributes to our understanding of wayfinding, especially the information needs for wayfinding in scene space, and provides a cognitively motivated but formal model of scene space, Schematic Geometry.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Dissertation
Referees:Fabrikant S I, Dittrich K , Kuhn W, Timpf S
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2007
Deposited On:17 Aug 2009 12:39
Last Modified:14 Sep 2016 13:39
Number of Pages:134
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-20208

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