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Buildings 2019, 9(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9020029

The Effects of Information Format and Spatial Cognition on Individual Wayfinding Performance

1
Construction department, ECAM, 1200 Brussels, Belgium
2
Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309-0428, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 December 2018 / Revised: 14 January 2019 / Accepted: 17 January 2019 / Published: 22 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue BIM in Building Repair and Maintenance)
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Abstract

Buildings with spatially complex interiors poise unique challenges during operations and maintenance. A complex interior makes wayfinding difficult, which can inhibit daily occupants from finding their desired location. Additionally, it can hamper emergency responders and evacuations during extreme emergency events. An experiment was conducted to analyze the effects of different information formats and spatial cognition on individual wayfinding in unknown environments. Participants were asked to memorize either a set of two-dimensional (2D) drawings or a three-dimensional (3D) model before navigating through a series of checkpoints in an unfamiliar environment. Individual wayfinding is dependent on an individual’s use of route knowledge or survey knowledge. Route knowledge was assessed from the start of the route to Checkpoint A (i.e., the first checkpoint). Meanwhile, survey knowledge was assessed from Checkpoint A to Checkpoint B. Spatial cognition of participants was measured by administering the card rotation and cube comparison tests. The research found that 3D models have a beneficial impact on the success of individual wayfinding. Furthermore, the success rate of the participants with a low spatial cognition improved significantly when using a 3D model rather than a set of 2D drawings. However, the success rates of participants with a high spatial cognition were not affected by the format of information. While the above results are significant, more experimentation is needed to confirm whether 3D information does effectively lower cognitive demand. View Full-Text
Keywords: wayfinding; spatial cognition; cognitive analysis; engineering information delivery; route knowledge; survey knowledge wayfinding; spatial cognition; cognitive analysis; engineering information delivery; route knowledge; survey knowledge
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Verghote, A.; Al-Haddad, S.; Goodrum, P.; Van Emelen, S. The Effects of Information Format and Spatial Cognition on Individual Wayfinding Performance. Buildings 2019, 9, 29.

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