Finding the way from A to B in the urban jungle? No problem thanks to navigation systems such as Google Maps. However, many people are hardly aware of their surroundings when using such systems and do not acquire much spatial knowledge. And they often feel patronized because they can't choose the route according to their wishes.
Researchers at the Department of Geography have now developed a prototype navigation system that does not restrict users to a predefined route. Rather, it defines an area on the map consisting of all potential routes they can take to reach the destination within a certain time. They decide for themselves: Do I walk along the main street or would I rather stroll through the park? As the user approaches the destination, the so-called "Potential Route Area" continuously adapts. Within this area, users can freely choose their own route and alter it anytime, and still arrive at their destination within the desired detour tolerance. Prominent landmarks such as a broadcast tower or a church are displayed on the map and help users find their way.