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Open AccessArticle

“Turn Left after the WC, and Use the Lift to Go to the 2nd Floor”—Generation of Landmark-Based Route Instructions for Indoor Navigation

IT-Services, Vienna University of Economics and Business, 1020 Vienna, Austria
GIScience Center, Department of Geography, University of Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland
Research Group Cartography, TU Wien, 1040 Vienna, Austria
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6(6), 183;
Received: 22 May 2017 / Revised: 12 June 2017 / Accepted: 17 June 2017 / Published: 21 June 2017
PDF [4825 KB, uploaded 22 June 2017]


People in unfamiliar environments often need navigation guidance to reach a destination. Research has found that compared to outdoors, people tend to lose orientation much more easily within complex buildings, such as university buildings and hospitals. This paper proposes a category-based method to generate landmark-based route instructions to support people’s wayfinding activities in unfamiliar indoor environments. Compared to other methods relying on detailed instance-level data about the visual, semantic, and structural characteristics of individual spatial objects, the proposed method relies on commonly available data about categories of spatial objects, which exist in most indoor spatial databases. With this, instructions like “Turn right after the second door, and use the elevator to go to the second floor” can be generated for indoor navigation. A case study with a university campus shows that the method is feasible in generating landmark-based route instructions for indoor navigation. More importantly, compared to metric-based instructions (i.e., the benchmark for indoor navigation), the generated landmark-based instructions can help users to unambiguously identify the correct decision point where a change of direction is needed, as well as offer information for the users to confirm that they are on the right way to the destination. View Full-Text
Keywords: indoor navigation; route communication; landmarks; route instructions indoor navigation; route communication; landmarks; route instructions

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Fellner, I.; Huang, H.; Gartner, G. “Turn Left after the WC, and Use the Lift to Go to the 2nd Floor”—Generation of Landmark-Based Route Instructions for Indoor Navigation. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6, 183.

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