RC2 Wayfinding Through Orientation: Schematizing Landmark, Route and Survey Information in a Single Map


Current navigation assistance devices provide the information in a turn-by-turn way, which is problematic as it impedes the recognition of environmental characteristics and the acquisition of a cognitive map. We suggest a new approach called “Wayfinding Through Orientation”. To visualize instructions of orientation navigation systems, we suggest to (i) select relevant landmark, route and survey information and (ii) visualize this information in schematic maps. These tasks require insight into and consideration of human cognition as well as memory processes. We know that not only visual, but also linguistic information has an impact on what is being recalled: language can be used to emphasize objects and structures. My talk will provide insights into the human way of maintaining orientation and the experimental work about orientation information with a driving simulator. It consists of three parts:

  1. What is orientation, and why are turn-by-turn instructions problematic?
  2. Experimental identification of orientation information: what kind of information is learnt incidentally during navigation?
  3. Schematization and display of these features


  • Cognitive processes involved in the acquisition and maintenance of oriented mental representations of space: what of the perceived environment will be remembered?
  • Ways of testing and evaluating spatial knowledge acquisition with a driving simulator: identification of features that provide orientation.
  • A tool for systematic sketch map analysis: how can we evaluate route and survey information?
  • Mapping: how are schematized maps created, and which challenges have to be considered.


  • Galvão M. , Krukar J., Schwering A. (2018). Schematizing regional landmarks for route maps. 26th International Symposium on Graph Drawing and Network Visualization.
  • Krukar, J., Münzer, S., Lörch, L., Anacta, V. J., Fuest, S., & Schwering, A. (2018). Distinguishing Sketch Map Types: A Flexible Feature-Based Classification. In S. Creem-Regehr, J. Schödning, & A. Klippel (Eds.), Spatial cognition xi (pp 279–292). Cham: Springer International Publishing.
  • Li, R., Korda, A., Radtke, M., & Schwering, A. (2014). Visualizing distant off-screen landmarks on mobile devices to support spatial orientation. Journal of Location Based Services, 8(3), pp 166–178.
  • Löwen, H., Schwering, A., Krukar, J., Winter, S. (2017). Perspectives in Externalizations of Mental Spatial Representations. In: Bregt, A., Sarjakoski, T., et al (Eds.) Proceedings of the 20 th AGILE International Conference on Geographic Information Science, pp 111-127. Wageningen, The Netherlands: Springer.
  • Schwering, A., Krukar, J., Li, R., Anacta, V. J., & Fuest, S. (2017). Wayfinding Through Orientation. Spatial Cognition and Computation., vol. 17, pp 273-303.

Course location

Forum 2

Course requirements


Instructor information.

Wiebke Schick


Institute for Geoinformatics, Münster


Interdisciplinarity is not only an integral part of the IK but also of my CV: I received a Magister Artium in humanities (General Rhetorics, thesis topic: the rhetorics of the poetry slam; side subjects: Newer English Literature, Psychology), and then became a doctoroal student at the Graduate Training Centre of Neuroscience, both at the university of Tübingen. My thesis topic was human spatial cognition. Since 2018, I work as researcher at the Institute for Geoinformatics in Münster. As I like to share my enthusiasm for science and research, I regularly participate at science slams.