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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Path Selection and Route Preference in Human Navigation: A Progress Report


Two critical characteristics of human wayfinding are destination choice and path selection. Traditionally, the path selection problem has been ignored or assumed to be the result of minimizing procedures such as selecting the shortest path, the quickest path or the least costly path. In this paper I draw on existing literature from cognitive mapping and cognitive distance, to define possible route selection criteria other than these traditional ones. Experiments with route selection on maps and in the field are then described and analyzed to determine which criteria appear to be used as the environment changes and as one increases the number of nodes along a path (i.e., as trip chaining replaces a simple Origin-Destination (O-D) pairing.

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