Research Design Connection: Wayfinding Worldwide

Coutrot led a large research team that probed how good people from various parts of the world are at wayfinding. What they learned may help people who design projects internationally understand differences in wayfinding ability and wayfinding aids needed in different areas. The scientists determined via a mobile video game that tested the spatial navigation ability of over 550,000 people from 57 countries that ā€œSpatial ability of the population of a country is correlated with economic wealth [more wealth, more ability].ā€ More on the mobile video game used by the researchers: ā€œThe game involves navigating a boat in search of sea creatures in order to photograph themā€¦It features two main tasks: wayfinding and path integrationā€¦The wayfinding task requires quite elaborate processing, including interpretation of a map, planning a multi-stop route, memory of the route, monitoring progress along the route and updating of route plan, andĀ transformation of birds-eye perspective to an …