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Title: Where do we go from here? An assessment of navigation performance using a compass versus a GPS unit
Authors: Young, MS
Stanton, NA
Walker, GH
Jenkins, DP
Smart, W
Keywords: Navigation performance;Wayfinding;Map;Compass;GPS
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Springer
Citation: Cognition, Technology and Work 10(1): 231-236
Abstract: The Global Positioning System (GPS) looks set to replace the traditional map and compass for navigation tasks in military and civil domains. However, we may ask whether GPS has a real performance advantage over traditional methods. We present an exploratory study using a waypoint plotting task to compare the standard magnetic compass against a military GPS unit, for both expert and non-expert navigators. Whilst performance times were generally longer in setting up the GPS unit, once navigation was underway the GPS was more efficient than the compass. For mediumto long-term missions, this means that GPS could offer significant performance benefits, although the compass remains superior for shorter missions. Notwithstanding the performance times, significantly more errors, and more serious errors, occurred when using the compass. Overall, then, the GPS offers some clear advantages, especially for non-expert users. Nonetheless, concerns over the development of cognitive maps remain when using GPS technologies.
ISSN: 1435-5558
Appears in Collections:Design
Dept of Design Research Papers

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