Alternative Methods for Providing Survey and Route Information During Open Country Terrain Navigation


  1. Tack, D.W.
  2. Kumagai, J.K.
  3. Bos, J.C.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN);Humansystems Inc, Guelph ONT (CAN)
There has been little research comparing the utility and usability of digital map models and digital wayfinding aids to other traditional terrain navigation tools for small-scale navigation at the small unit and individual soldier level. For this reason, this experiment investigated two visualization methods that contribute mostly to survey knowledge (i.e. digital versus paper map information) and two wayfinding methods that contribute mostly to route knowledge (i.e. digital wayfinding system versus compass). This experiment compared three combinations of survey and route knowledge support: a digital map with a directional icon displayed on a head-mounted display (HMD), a digital map displayed on a tablet with a digital audio wayfinding aid (Future Infantry Navigating Device or FIND), and a paper topographic map with a compass. Results indicated the digital map displayed on a tablet with a digital audio wayfinding aid (FIND) was most frequently the highest rated modality across the questionnaires, and produced the best performance outcomes. The FIND modality attained significantly higher ratings than the paper map for awareness of own location, awareness of waypoint locations, ability to find the next waypoint after avoiding a hazard, determining when a waypoint has been reached, and was found to be very accurate for navigation purposes. The FIND modality was rated significantly more acceptable than the paper map and compass for ease of navigating a route, and generated super

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Soldier Information Requirements Technology Demonstration Project;SIREQ TD;digital map;wayfinding;Navigation;Terrain Navigation;head-mounted display;HMD;Future Infantry Navigating Device;FIND;map and compass;digital audio wayfinding
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-CR-2005-015 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
01 Jul 2005
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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