Alternatives for maps in mobile pedestrian navigation

TAMK’s media production student Timo Pietilä has studied in his final thesis “Alternatives for map-based pedestrian navigation with location-aware mobile devices” different methods of presenting navigation information to pedestrians using mobile devices.

"Maps have functioned as traditional aids in navigation for centuries but some inherent constraints of mobile devices, such as a small screen, make it difficult to present information this way", Pietilä writes.
He presents four different alternative methods of presenting navigation information to users: augmented reality, auditory display, tactile display and radar display. In addition the compatibility of these alternatives for pedestrian use is examined.
"The visual interfaces - augmented reality and radar display - are especially effective in showing information on points of interest around the user. The auditory and tactile displays are for tourists as they provide navigation information without taking the user's visual attention away from his surroundings", Pietilä concludes.
Timo Pietilä was a member of a student team that created a prototype called Local Buddy of a city guide system for mobile devices that uses a radar display. The prototype was one of the Demola Innosummer '09 projects.