Understanding the Effect of Global and Local Landmarks through the Use of Mobile Technology/a Mobile-based game

Demet Yesiltepe, Ruth Dalton, Ayse Ozbil Torun

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Landmarks are vital elements as they contribute to our understanding of cities. As mentioned by Lynch (1960), they are one of the five elements of cities, which he argues, form them. Although their significance on the image of cities has been shown by studies (Appleyard, 1969; Dalton and Bafna, 2003; Lynch, 1960), there is an uncertainty about the effect of location of landmarks on spatial navigation. In this study, we aim to understand the effect of landmarks on human behavior, namely wayfinding. We used a mobile-based virtual game for smart phones and tablets produced by Glitchers Ltd., which was played more than 2.5 million people. Within certain levels of this game, participants were first asked to look at maps that indicate the specific location of players and checkpoints. The map was then removed and participants were asked to navigate a boat and find the checkpoints. We propose to better understand an important component of cities, namely landmarks, by analyzing the results of participants. Performance (time and distance) in relation to the structure of levels of the game and location of landmarks were analyzed. Additionally, axial based integration and choice as well as visibility (visual integration) values of levels were calculated to make comparisons across levels of similar configurations. For this study, we focused on levels which include both local -visible from a small distance (Steck and Mallot, 2000) - and global - visible from a large area (Steck and Mallot, 2000) - landmarks and only local

The contribution of this study to urban design and planning fields is that it provides mounting evidence about the role of landmarks in spatial navigation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2018
Event25th ISUF International Conference: Urban Form and Social Context: from traditions to newest demands - Krasnoyarsk, Russian Federation
Duration: 5 Jul 20189 Jul 2018


Conference25th ISUF International Conference
Abbreviated titleISUF 2018
Country/TerritoryRussian Federation
Internet address


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