Redefining Global and Local Landmarks: When Does a Landmark Stop Being Local and Become a Global One?

Demet Yesiltepe, Ruth Conroy Dalton, Ayse Ozbil Torun, Sam Noble, Nick Dalton, Michael Hornberger, Hugo Spiers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Citations (Scopus)


Landmarks are key elements in the wayfinding process. The impact of global and local landmarks in wayfinding has been explored by many researchers and a large body of evidence around landmarks and landmark usage has been discussed [1, 2]. However, there is one aspect of landmark research that is still not clear: when can a landmark be termed “global” as opposed to when can it be classified as being “local”? Is it necessary for a global landmark to be seen from any/every location in a setting [3], or is it acceptable if it is seen merely from many angles and many locations (and if so, how many?) [4]? At what point does a local landmark become a global landmark? Where is the threshold between these? In this study, our goal is to redefine global and local landmarks based on the visibility of landmarks along routes. For this purpose, we used Sea Hero Quest (an online game) and explored landmark visibility in virtual game environments to find if there is a threshold between local/global landmarks. Participants were asked to navigate a boat and to find goal locations in river/waterway environments. Meanwhile, the visibility of landmarks from the perspective of the game-player was recorded. This study contributes to the literature by demonstrating a new and innovative method of using landmark visibility to reclassify global and local landmarks.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpatial Cognition - 12th International Conference, Spatial Cognition 2020, Proceedings
EditorsJurgis Skilters, Nora S. Newcombe, David Uttal
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-57982-1, 978-3-030-57983-8
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2020

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume12162 LNAI
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


  • Landmark
  • Navigation
  • Spatial learning
  • Visibility
  • Wayfinding

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