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Workshop 1: You-Are-Here-Maps

You-Are-Here-Maps: Creating a Sense of Place through Map-like Representations



Having a sense of place is a necessity for successful wayfinding and navigation activities. While familiar environments allow us the luxury of unguided success in reaching our destinations, unfamiliar or partially familiar environments require the use of external spatial information in mostly map-like or verbal form. With the omnipresence of location based services (LBS) our dependence on information about individual location-action pairs has increased, i.e. we are not creating survey knowledge but rely on navigation devices to guide us step by step. The impeding nature of this form of providing spatial information has become a focus in current research.

With spatial information available in a much wider array for formats, currency, and fidelity, it is time to rethink how to provide spatial information for wayfinding from the perspective of creating a sense of place. Especially in emergency situations, the lacking understanding of the place a wayfinder is embedded in might prove harmful or even dangerous. Research on leveraging the dependence on navigation devices and a deeper understanding of how spatial information is acquired with both mobile and stationary You-Are-Here information is necessary in the pursuit of enabling active learning.


This workshop will bring together researchers form fields interested in supported wayfinding behavior such as classical map orientation tasks, location-based services, indoor and outdoor wayfinding and others. While many solutions for aiding wayfinding and navigation have been proposed recently, this workshop will specifically target the question of how to create a sense of place and to bring together perspectives from several disciplines to advance possible solutions for both, classical You-Are-Here maps and location based services:

Topics focus on but are not limited to:

  • YAH maps in the light of new information technology
  • Ingredients to create a sense of place
  • Measuring behaviorally the sense of place
  • Large maps or small multiples? How is map information integrated across different levels of granularity (i.e. different scales)
  • The influence of visual clutter and why presenting more information does not mean a better understanding of place
  • Advising schematization algorithms for small scale displays
  • Wayfinding choremes and how conceptual knowledge about place is communicated
  • Map gestures and other summary graphics
  • Ontology guided map schematization
  • Algorithms for placing YAH maps
  • Use of images and 3-D visualizations
  • Disorientation as a function of environmental characteristics
  • Formal characterizations of spatial information accessed through robots and software programs to extract those aspects that are most important for creating a sense of place
  • Individual differences and familiarity


Contributions are invited for either short papers (max. 4 pages) or long papers (max. 10 pages). These submissions will be carefully reviewed by the members of the program committee. Acceptance of submissions is based on scientific merits. We are particularly seeking original work. Submission should be made in pdf form to:

Accepted and revised papers will be published as workshop proceedings. It is also planned to follow up with a special issue.


  • Paper submission:                       May 30th 2008
  • Notification of acceptance:          July 5th 2008
  • Workshop:                                Sep 19th 2008



Alexander Klippel, Penn State, PA, USA
Stephen Hirtle, University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA


Program committee

Antonio Krüger, University of Muenster, Germany
Christian Kray, Newcastle University, UK
Christoph Hölscher, University of Freiburg, Germany
Clare Davies, Research Labs, Ordnance Survey, UK
Daniel Montello, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
Georg Gartner, Vienna University of Technology, Austria
Jonathan Raper, City University London, UK
Juval Portugali, Tel Aviv University, Israel
Kai-Florian Richter, University of Bremen, Germany
Luke Zhang, Pennsylvania State University, USA
Martin Raubal, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
Pragya Agarwal, University College London, UK
Stephan Winter, University of Melbourne, Australia




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