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Mobile Three-Dimensional Maps for Wayfinding in Large and Complex Buildings: Empirical Comparison of First-Person vs. Third-Person Perspective
Authors: Burigat S., Chittaro L., Sioni R.
Published in: IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems, vol. 47, no. 6, December 2017, pp. 1029-1039.
Abstract: The computational capabilities of today’s smartphones make it possible to take advantage of mobile threedimensional (3-D) maps to support navigation in the physical world. In particular, 3-D maps might be useful to facilitate indoor wayfinding in large and complex buildings, where the typical orientation cues (e.g., street names) and location tracking technologies that can be used outdoors are unavailable. The use of mobile 3-D maps for indoor wayfinding is still largely unexplored and research on how to best design such tools has been scarce to date. One overlooked but important design decision for 3-D maps concerns the perspective from which the map content should be displayed, with first-person and third-person perspectives being the two major options. This paper presents a user study involving wayfinding tasks in a large and complex building, comparing a mobile 3-D map with first-person perspective, a mobile 3-D map with third-person perspective, and a traditional mobile 2-D map. The first-person perspective shows the mobile 3-D map of the building from a floorlevel egocentric point of view, whereas the third-person perspective shows the surroundings of the user from a fixed distance behind and above her position. Results of the study reveal that the mobile 3-D map with third-person perspective leads to shorter orientation time before walking, better clarity ratings, lower workload, mental demand and effort scores, and higher preference score compared to the mobile 3-D map with first-person perspective. Moreover, it leads to shorter orientation time before walking, better pleasantness ratings, lower mental demand scores, and higher preference score compared to the mobile 2-D map.