Map position finding accuracy in a computer simulated environment
Bayliss, John H.
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Map position finding is a fundamental skill taught in many map use and interpretation geography courses. Map position finding is also the basic skill required for successful orienteering. At Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University orienteering exercises aid in building students map position finding skills. Unfortunately, the outdoor nature of orienteering limits classroom use. Bad weather, lack of suitable sites and logistical problems may prevent the educational use of orienteering. Advancements in computer technology have led to the development of a computer orienteering simulation. This paper examines the accuracy of subjects' map position finding responses when exposed to a computer simulated environment. This research examined two issues. First, it tested whether the computer program was capable of presenting the necessary visual information to determine a location. Test subjects were asked to locate a map position based on viewing computer images which were manipulated to create a 360 degree panorama. Second, it tested if the ability to pan continuously through 360 degrees increases participants' location accuracy over the individual slide based technique studied by Cox (1986). Results indicate that: 1) subjects were able to locate a specific map position by viewing computer images; 2) differences in accuracy existed between sites and subjects and 3) the ability to continuously pan through 360 degrees with the computer program provided higher accuracy results than the slide based study conducted by Cox (1986).
- Masters Theses