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Browsing by Subject "cartography"

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  • Kässi, Juho (2011)
    Objectives: GPS technology enables the visualisation of a map reader's location on a mobile map. Earlier research on the cognitive aspects of map reading identified that searching for map-environment points is an essential element for the process of determining one's location on a mobile map. Map-environment points refer to objects that are visualized on the map and are recognizable in the environment. However, because the GPS usually adds only one point to the map that has a relation to the environment, it does not provide a sufficient amount of information for self-location. The aim of the present thesis was to assess the effect of GPS on the cognitive processes involved in determining one's location on a map. Methods: The effect of GPS on self-location was studied in a field experiment. The subjects were shown a target on a mobile map, and they were asked to point in the direction of the target. In order for the map reader to be able to deduce the direction of the target, he/she has to locate himself/herself on the map. During the pointing tasks, the subjects were asked to think aloud. The data from the experiment were used to analyze the effect of the GPS on the time needed to perform the task. The subjects verbal data was used to assess the effect of the GPS on the number of landmark concepts mentioned during a task (landmark concepts are words referring to objects that can be recognized both on the map and in the environment). Results and conclusions: The results from the experiment indicate that the GPS reduces the time needed to locate oneself on a map. The analysis of the verbal data revealed that the GPS reduces the number of landmark concepts in the protocols. The findings suggest that the GPS guides the subject's search for the map-environment points and narrows the area on the map that must be searched for self-location.