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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Place Recognition and Wayfinding: Making Sense of Space

  • Author(s): Golledge, Reginald G.
  • et al.

In this paper I examine processes involved in place recognition and wayfinding in the context of spatial knowledge acquisition generally. Recognizing places is seen to be of vital importance in developing a declarative base: wayfinding is viewed as the most common means of acquiring place knowledge. Characteristics of place recognition are examined along with discussion of errors in place cognition and the role that spatial familiarity plays in attaching importance weights to distinguish primary nodes (anchor points) from other places. Wayfinding is characterized as route knowledge acquired via procedural rules. Parameters of wayfinding are discussed in reference to navigation in familiar and unfamiliar environments. The expression of wayfinding in terms of computational process models is examined, and the future role of geographic information systems in such modelling is explored in the penultimate section.

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