Gruppens informationshantering - Lägesuppfattning vid förflyttning


  • Charlotte Stenius
  • Björn J E Johansson
  • Per-Anders Oskarsson
  • Jonathan Svensson

Publish date: 2012-12-28

Report number: FOI-R--3561--SE

Pages: 45

Written in: Swedish


  • Spatial awareness
  • navigation
  • Santa Barbra Sense of Direction test
  • workload
  • technical support
  • spatial test


This report presents two studies of individuals' ability to create and maintain spatial orientation during movement. Spatial orientation is here referred to as the ability to estimate the direction to various positions (objects in the terrain). Two studies were conducted, one in urban terrain with limited support of a GPS-receiver when estimating the direction to different positions and one in wooded terrain where the participants received full support from the GPS-receiver when estimating the direction to different positions. In wooded terrain there was a significant difference in performance between those who got to estimate directions using a GPS-receiver, and those who did it without support. Performance is in this report the calculated error of indicated bearing in the relation to correct bearing, measured in degrees. In urban terrain the difference between the groups performance was insignificant. In the urban study, the participants had access to the GPS-receiver during navigation but not during the direction estimation task. This indicates that technical support for spatial orientation during navigation is not enough for a good performance - to succeed, technical support is needed during the actual direction estimation. A negative effect of having full access to the technical support was that it took significantly longer time to estimate the direction with than without the technical support. The relationship between task time and precision should be investigated further. Without the technical support the performance deteriorates over distance. A mean error between 30 and 50 degrees was common. Three different types of paper-and-pencil spatial tests were performed to investigate whether there was any connection between any of the tests and performance. The three tests were the Santa Barbara Sense of Direction (SBSOD; self-assessment), a spatial visualization test (the Paper Folding Test) and a spatial orientation test (the Perspective Taking Test). A strong correlation between the spatial orientation test and performance could be established. In summary it can be stated that the human ability to correctly maintain spatial orientation regarding multiple directions during movement is very limited and individually varied. A technical support like a GPS-receiver with a good compass provides very good effects in terms of reduced deviation from the correct bearing when estimating directions.

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