Impact of Positioning Technology on Human Navigation
Jung, Wook Rak
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In navigation from one place to another, spatial knowledge helps us establish a destination and route while travelling. Therefore, sufficient spatial knowledge is a vital element in successful navigation. To build adequate spatial knowledge, various forms of spatial tools have been introduced to deliver spatial information without direct experience (maps, descriptions, pictures, etc.). An innovation developed in the 1970s and available on many handheld platforms from the early 2000s is the Global Position System (GPS) and related map and text-based navigation support systems. Contemporary technical achievements, such as GPS, have made navigation more effective, efficient, and comfortable in most outdoor environments. Because GPS delivers such accurate information, human navigation can be supported without specific spatial knowledge. Unfortunately, there is no universal and accurate navigation system for indoor environments. Since smartphones have become increasingly popular, we can more frequently and easily access various positioning services that appear to work both indoors and outdoors. The expansion of positioning services and related navigation technology have changed the nature of navigation. For example, routes to destination are progressively determined by a “system,” not the individual. Unfortunately we only have a partial and nascent notion of how such an intervention affects spatial behaviour. The practical purpose of this research is to develop a trustworthy positioning system that functions in indoor environments and identify those aspects those should be considered before deploying Indoor Positioning System (IPS), all towards the goal of maintaining affordable positioning accuracy, quality, and consistency. In the same way that GPS provides worry free directions and navigation support, an IPS would extend such opportunities to many of our built environments. Unfortunately, just as we know little about how GPS, or any real time navigation system, affects human navigation, there is little evidence suggesting how such a system (indoors or outdoors) changes how we find our way. For this reason, in addition to specifying an indoor position system, this research examines the difference in human’s spatial behaviour based on the availability of a navigation system and evaluates the impact of varying the levels of availability of such tools (not available, partially available, or full availability). This research relies on outdoor GPS, but when such systems are available indoors and meet the accuracy and reliability or GPS, the results will be generalizable to such situations.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
DepartmentGeography and Planning
SupervisorBell, Scott M.
CommitteeWestbrook, Cherie; GUO, Xulin; Stanley, Kevin; Gutwin, Carl
Copyright DateMay 2015
Behavioural Geography, Human Navigation, Indoor GIS, Indoor Positioning