Finding one’s way around public buildings such as a hospital, often proves to be a tedious and frustrating task.  Research indicates that outdoor navigation techniques don’t actually apply to indoor environments, because many people have difficulty interpreting maps and other abstract visualizations of space. In environments like hospitals, a more advanced, simpler indoor navigation concept is required to most efficiently guide users to their destination.

Indoor navigation relies on the use of landmarks to locate objects and locations. These landmarks define a place. However, while a place exhibits a high level of information and details, a landmark is an anchor point that is abstracted to a node without internal structure. In this way, the representational complexity is reduced. Consequently, landmarks are ideal wayfinding tools for directing a person from A to B as they allow fast reasoning and efficient communication (Richter & Winter, 2014). Moreover, the use of landmarks is often linked with the quality of route instructions as they are related to the natural cognitive navigation process of humans (e.g. Hund & Padgitt (2010), Lovelace, Hegarty, & Montello (1999), May et al. (2003), Streeter, Vitello, & Wonsiewicz (1985)).”



Wayfinding systems benefit from the technological advancements that became part of our daily life. High-definition displays, touch-screen kiosks, and online information are examples of these developments. With the widespread of smartphones and their concurrent applications, location- aware apps are developed to guide people navigation. They provide a new dimension to traditional wayfinding systems by generating maps that show the shortest path to a desired destination. Moreover, augmented reality (AR) is becoming part of these developments, in which digital information is provided through a phone’s camera (2).


  • Ahmed Hassem Sadek (2015). A comprehensive approach to facilitate wayfinding in healthcare facilities. Design4Health 2015 European Conference. Sheffield Hallam University.
  • Goldiez, B. F. 2004. Techniques for assessing and improving performance in navigation and wayfinding using mobile augmented reality. PhD Thesis, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL.


Kuipers, B. (1978). Modeling Spatial Knowledge. Cognitive Science, 2, 129–153. doi:10.1207/s15516709cog0202_3
Lovelace, K. L., Hegarty, M., & Montello, D. R. (1999). Elements of Good Route Directions in Familiar and Unfamiliar Environments. In Spatial information theory. Cognitive and Computional Foundations of Geographic Information Science (pp. 65–82). Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag.

May, A. J., Ross, T., Bayer, S. H., & Tarkiainen, M. J. (2003). Pedestrian navigation aids: information requirements and design implications. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 7(6), 331–338. doi:10.1007/s00779-003-0248-5

Richter, K., & Duckham, M. (2008). Simplest Instructions : Finding Easy-to-Describe Routes for Navigation. In T. J. Cova (Ed.), GIScience 2008 (pp. 274–289). Springer-Verlag Berlin, Heidelberg.

Richter, K., & Winter, S. (2014). Landmarks. Springer Cham Heidelberg New York Dordrecht London. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-05732-3

Streeter, L., Vitello, D., & Wonsiewicz, S. A. (1985). How to tell people where to go: comparing navigational aids. International Journal Man-Machine Studies, (22), 549–562.

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