The impact of environmental qualities and individual differences on spatial orientation in a mobile context

Rui Li, Alexander Klippel, Lynn S. Liben, Adam E. Christensen

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


To contribute to cognitive engineering for mobile users, we propose that mobility itself, the environment, and individual differences all have to be incorporated into a unified framework. To make this argument, we present both a position statement and results from a behavioral study. Forty participants were taken individually to 12 locations on different floors in a library where they estimated their location and orientation on a map. Participants were randomly assigned to perform these tasks under one of two mobility conditions-either being required to stand in a single location (static) or being permitted to move before responding (active). Locations in the library were characterized using space syntax measures and individual differences were assessed using a battery of established tasks. Results show that mobility, environmental qualities, and individual differences all affect performance but that overall active exploration results in better performance. Through establishing this unified framework our research addresses fundamental questions of what it means-from a cognitive perspective-to be mobile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCEUR Workshop Proceedings
StatePublished - 2011
EventWorkshop on Cognitive Engineering for Mobile GIS 2011, CEMob 2011 - In Conjunction with the Conference on Spatial Information Theory, COSIT 2011 - Belfast, ME, United States
Duration: Sep 12 2011Sep 12 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Computer Science

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