GREAT NEWS! The full paper I have co-authored together with Daniel R. Montello, Martin Raubal, and Ioannis Giannopoulos was accepted for the 16th Conference on Spatial Information Theory!

Participants of the real-world study I conducted at UCSB (i.e. during the study abroad phase of my fellowship), had to draw a map of the route they had taken through the environment at the very end of the trial. We analyzed whether familiarity is reflected in these so-called sketchmaps.

Here’s an excerpt of the Abstract of the paper, which will be available Open Access as part of the Dagstuhl LIPIcs series:

We found that participants unfamiliar with the areas along the route sketched fewer features than familiar people did. Contrary to our expectations, however, we found that landmarks were sketched or not regardless of participants’ level of familiarity with the landmarks. We were also surprised that the level of familiarity was not correlated to the accuracy of the sketched order of features along the route, of the position of sketched features in relation to the route, nor to the metric locational accuracy of feature placement on the sketches. These results lead us to conclude that different aspects of feature salience influence whether the features are included on sketch maps, independent of familiarity. They also point to the influence of task context on the content of sketch maps, again independent of familiarity. We propose further studies to more fully explore these ideas