Dec 31, 1980
A series of studies undertaken to identify skills required for successful spatial performance. A study of requirements for distance estimation, self-orientation, and object location tasks supported the assumption that the type of spatial knowledge acquired depends on the learner's information source. A second study showed that filmed traversal of an unfamiliar route provides as much knowledge about landmarks, landmark sequence, and distances as a live tour, but not sufficient information about angles of turns to allow accurate self-orientation. Studies of cognitive mapping skill showed that good mappers excel at acquiring knowledge from navigation or maps, at manipulating information in memory, and in visual memory, visualization, and spatial orientation ability. Good and poor mappers do not differ in map reading, map interpretation, or navigation skill. Examination of two different strategies for learning a new environment from navigation indicated potential benefits from training strategies compatible with the learner's abilities.