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“Mapping the City” Exhibit in London, England

Posted by on Jan 28, 2015 in cognitive maps, maps, museum exhibition, personal navigation | 0 comments

“Mapping the City” Exhibit in London, England

An exhibit in London, England, called “Mapping the City” turns the concept of geographically accurate maps into something quite different. In the Somerset House show, some 50 international graffiti and street artists use a variety of media to create visual representations of spaces that are reflect emotions, personal meaning, and private references. The free exhibit runs from January 22-February 15, 2015. There are also several related events, hosted by University College London Anthropology, including Mapping through Music, Mapping...

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London Cabbies Describe Finding Their Way Along a Complex Route

Posted by on Jan 20, 2015 in cognitive maps, Directional Sense, Finding your way as you drive, hippocampus, navigation, Wayfinding, wayfinding and the brain | 0 comments

London Cabbies Describe Finding Their Way Along a Complex Route

Directionally challenged people have to work hard to learn even short routes between places they frequent. And this is a great accomplishment! Would-be and actual London taxi drivers are at the opposite end of the wayfinding spectrum, probably as a result of outstanding, inherent spatial abilities, and absolutely as a result of years of dedicated, focused, arduous work. This New York Times video shows images along a seven-mile route through London and the 41(!) turns required to get from one particular place to another. A would-be cabbie, Matt...

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“The Knowledge” – The Ultimate Test of London’s Detailed Geography

Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 in asking directions, cognitive maps, Directional Sense, Directionally challenged, Finding your way as you drive, navigation, personal navigation, Uncategorized, wayfinding and the brain | 0 comments

“The Knowledge” – The Ultimate Test of London’s Detailed Geography

If you’ve ever wondered whether there’s a wayfinding Olympics, take a look at this extraordinary New York Times article by Jody Rosen describing the years of detailed navigation & wayfinding study (and resulting sacrifices) undertaken by people seeking to be official London taxi drivers. “The Knowledge,” has been called the most difficult mental undertaking and test in the world: requiring students to memorize the city’s 25,000 streets and every business and landmark on them. During the required examinations, they must devise and...

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A Real Wayfinding Wiz at the Gas Station

Posted by on Nov 4, 2014 in asking directions, Directionally challenged, giving directions, Wayfinding | 0 comments

A Real Wayfinding Wiz at the Gas Station

There are many anecdotes about people who can’t find their way anywhere (and even some books for and about them!), but here’s a story about a real wayfinding wiz: someone who knows exactly where he (and you) are and who can give accurate, useful, device-free directions about how to find just about any destination. See this story by Cheryl Truman of the Lexington Herald-Leader about Ken Brookins, a worker at a Shell station in Lexington, KY: http://bit.ly/1E1gpW6 Important for the directionally challenged among us is this observation, “He...

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Wayfinding Researchers Win the 2014 Nobel Prize in Medicine

Posted by on Oct 6, 2014 in cognitive maps, GPS, hippocampus, navigation, neuroscience, Wayfinding, wayfinding and the brain | 0 comments

Wayfinding Researchers Win the 2014 Nobel Prize in Medicine

This is an exciting day in the world of wayfinding – for the directionally challenged and non-challenged alike! Three researchers, John O’Keefe, Edvard Moser, and May-Britt Moser were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering “an inner GPS, in the brain” responsible for helping all creatures navigate, including human beings. Read more about it and them in this New York Times article by Lawrence Altman: http://nyti.ms/1sZUkaH ————————————— If...

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Museum of Modern Art’s App Helps Directionally-Challenged Art Lovers

Posted by on Sep 28, 2014 in apps, Directionally challenged, museums, Wayfinding | 0 comments

Museum of Modern Art’s App Helps Directionally-Challenged Art Lovers

Museum apps for smart phones and tablets are becoming commonplace and, in addition to scads of information about their offerings, offer directionally-challenged patrons assistance with finding their way around. Check out this one from New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. If you’ve used it, let us know about your experience. http://bit.ly/1la1542 Here’s a review: http://nwsdy.li/1mEiq7T   ————————————— If you’re directionally challenged you need the...

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GPS and Front-seat Dynamics

Posted by on Jul 20, 2014 in Finding your way as you drive, Google Maps, GPS, travel, Wayfinding, wayfinding technology | 0 comments

GPS and Front-seat Dynamics

In those golden days of yesteryear, long before GPS was even a twinkle in the eye of computer geeks, drivers and passengers often found the front seat of the car a great place to disagree. One may have insisted that he (or she) knew the way, while the other was absolutely certain they were headed in the wrong direction. These “discussions” often escalated into accusations and recriminations – perhaps funny at first, then not so much. GPS was supposed to fix all that. With always perfect, scientifically-derived directions (from...

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Finding Your Way to the Most “Beautiful, Quiet, Happy” Route

Posted by on Jul 19, 2014 in apps, digital maps, GPS, navigation, research, travel, Wayfinding | 0 comments

Finding Your Way to the Most “Beautiful, Quiet, Happy” Route

Today’s technology is getting ever better at helping us find the most efficient way of getting from here to there, even taking road construction and traffic into account. But what about those times when you care more about the quality of the journey rather than its distance or speed? How can you find your way to the most beautiful route? In an innovative study, researchers at Yahoo Barcelona (Spain) and the University of Torino (Italy) developed and tested a way of determining an “emotionally pleasant” journey as the major criterion for...

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Wearable Wayfinding Technology is All the Rage!

Posted by on Apr 26, 2014 in GPS, Tips for the Directionally Challenged, Wayfinding, wayfinding technology | 0 comments

Wearable Wayfinding Technology is All the Rage!

Two of the latest products inquiring (directionally challenged) minds want to know about: SuperShoes and Lechal Haptic Footwear. SuperShoes are insoles that tickle your toes to help you find your way. According to an article in Gizmag by Nick Lavars, these silicone inserts (that you can slip into in “regular” shoes) contain “an onboard microcontroller, a Bluetooth low-energy chip, a capacitive pad under the big toe, and three vibrotactile motors placed underneath the smaller toes.” Sounds great, eh? SuperShoes were invented by Dhairya...

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Maps as a Window into New York City’s History

Posted by on Apr 20, 2014 in digital maps, maps | 0 comments

Maps as a Window into New York City’s History

It’s easy to consider maps only as a present-day navigation tool, but they can also be a key to the past. If you live in, travel to, or have roots in, New York City, you’ll want to know about an enormous collection of NYC maps recently released by the New York Public Library as free, high-res, digital downloads. http://on.nypl.org/1hjeZOS This map treasure trove includes 1000+ maps of NYC spanning the 17th – 20th centuries, “which detail transportation, vice, real estate development, urban renewal, industrial development and...

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