EYE TRACKING TO EXPLORE THE IMPACTS OF PHOTOREALISTIC 3D REPRESENTATIONS IN PEDSTRIAN NAVIGATION PERFORMANCE
Keywords: 3D photorealism, eye tracking, cognitive workload, pedestrian navigation
Abstract. Despite the now-ubiquitous two-dimensional (2D) maps, photorealistic three-dimensional (3D) representations of cities (e.g., Google Earth) have gained much attention by scientists and public users as another option. However, there is no consistent evidence on the influences of 3D photorealism on pedestrian navigation. Whether 3D photorealism can communicate cartographic information for navigation with higher effectiveness and efficiency and lower cognitive workload compared to the traditional symbolic 2D maps remains unknown. This study aims to explore whether the photorealistic 3D representation can facilitate processes of map reading and navigation in digital environments using a lab-based eye tracking approach. Here we show the differences of symbolic 2D maps versus photorealistic 3D representations depending on users’ eye-movement and navigation behaviour data. We found that the participants using the 3D representation were less effective, less efficient and were required higher cognitive workload than using the 2D map for map reading. However, participants using the 3D representation performed more efficiently in self-localization and orientation at the complex decision points. The empirical results can be helpful to improve the usability of pedestrian navigation maps in future designs.