|Abstract or Summary
- This study presents a comparison of differences in cognitive mapping as a result of navigating an unfamiliar space with GPS or with Google Glass. Using the Yerkes-Dodson law and attenuation theory, the study attempts to uncover how attention is diverted or focused through each of these wayfinding platforms. In addition to a better understanding of wayfinding technology, the study measures potential effects of these devices on spatial cognition and on wayfinding performance. Data were collected through field tests of both devices, lab tests, as well as semi-structured interviews. Field tests measured wayfinding performance, lab tests measured robustness of cognitive mapping, and interviews allowed qualitative feedback on wayfinding with both devices. The sample consisted of 20 men and 20 women mostly aged 18-29, the majority being freshmen at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. Participants’ sketch maps, accepted as representations of their spatial memories, was performed in both ArcGIS, as well as through traditional sketch map analysis. In the traditional method, Augmentation, Incompleteness, Distortion, were used as key variables. In ArcGIS sketch maps were georeferenced to a coordinate system and standard pattern analysis tools were also utilized to reveal descriptive statistical data. Further geoprocessing was performed to quantify the magnitude of error between sketch maps and the actual reality on the ground. Based on several tests of spatial cognition, users who navigated with Google Glass did so more carefully, and created fewer errors. When participants used GPS, environmental stimuli competed for their attention, at the expense of robust cognitive maps. When participants used Google Glass, their spatial recollections improved, as demonstrated through sketch maps. They drew sketch maps with greater accuracy and tended to estimate their distances between waypoints more accurately, after correcting for scale.