A Study of Map Orientation Using Virtual Reality
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Wayfinding tasks have traditionally been assisted by paper maps. With modern technology maps are often displayed on devices capable of sensing its orientation. This allows maps to rotate with respect to the direction forward. The alternative is north-up maps which do not rotate. This thesis evaluates the performance of forward-up and north-up maps using virtual reality.A head-mounted display of the type ``Oculus Rift Development Kit 1'' by Oculus VR Inc. was used to enable virtual reality. A trial with 27 participants has been conducted. The participants navigated to waypoints in two mazes with either a north-up or forward-up map. The total time used in the mazes was recorded. Three questionnaires registered information about simulator sickness, spatial abilities, familiarity with computer games and level of presence.A brief introduction to virtual reality, and specifically the Oculus Rift Development Kit 1 is given. The use of ``Oculus Rift Development Kit 1'' in trials is discussed based on the results from the questionnaires.No significant difference in performance was found between the two types of maps. A larger sample size may have had a higher probability of showing significant results. Furthermore, there were no correlation between spatial abilities, simulator sickness, familiarity with computer games and the total time. Diverse results with large variation indicate that people experienced the virtual environment differently. Two participants aborted the trial due to a feeling of strong discomfort, while other participants were not affected at all. The feeling of presence also varied greatly.Further studies on forward-up maps without a marker showing the viewers position are needed to understand the effect of map rotation alone.