Landmarks in wayfinding: a review of the existing literature

Demet Yesiltepe*, Ruth Conroy Dalton, Ayse Ozbil Torun

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)
57 Downloads (Pure)


Landmarks are accepted as one of the vital elements in both virtual and real environments during wayfinding tasks. This paper provides an overview of the existing literature on the selection of landmarks in wayfinding mostly in large-scale urban environments and outdoors by discussing two main aspects of landmarks: visibility and salience. Environments and layouts used in previous studies, different tasks given to people and the main findings are explained and compared. Summary tables are created from these findings. The review concludes that there is mostly a consensus on the selection of landmarks, when considering their location. Accordingly, landmarks on route and also at decision points (with a turn) are more effective during wayfinding tasks. However, visibility of landmarks as well as visual and cognitive saliency need to be further investigated using different environments, tasks or different levels of familiarity with environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-410
Number of pages42
JournalCognitive Processing
Issue number3
Early online date8 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021


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