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The influence of different electronic maps and displays on performance and operator state in a geographic orientation task

: Pfendler, C.; Thun, J.; Alexander, T.; Schlick, C.


Behaviour and information technology 30 (2011), No.6, pp.833-844
ISSN: 0144-929X
ISSN: 1362-3001
Journal Article
Fraunhofer FKIE ()

Mobile electronic displays for geographic orientation and navigation are used increasingly in various civil and military domains. But it is still unclear which displays and kinds of map presentation suit best for specific purposes. In the present experiment, a head-mounted display (HMD) and a display from a personal digital assistant (PDA) were compared in a simulated geographic orientation task in an urban environment. Furthermore, the effect of three kinds of map presentation (egocentric, geocentric and geocentric with colour cues) was analysed. The simulated orientation task was projected on a screen and participants controlled their locomotion within the urban area by means of a joystick. Task completion time, peripheral attention, workload, fatigue and simulator sickness were registered as dependent variables. In comparison to the geocentric map the egocentric map showed a significant shorter task completion time and the geocentric map with colour cues a significant higher peripheral attention. Task completion time of the HMD and the PDA did not differ significantly. However, peripheral attention and most indices of workload, fatigue and simulator sickness were significantly better for the PDA. Therefore, the results recommend to apply PDAs and egocentric maps for comparable orientation tasks.