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Navigating In Complex Virtual Space Project

Description : Implementation and experimental study of navigation metaphors in large virtual spaces.

Team / Agency : Institute of Movement Sciences (ISM) “Immersion” Research Team.

Principal author : Alexandre Pugeaut

Year : 2011

Motion in virtual spaces poses many complex problems, namely orientation and location. To overcome these problems, various navigational interface metaphors have been implemented and studied notably by Doug A. Bowman et al. or Stefano Buriga and Luca Chittaro (guide, maps, ...).

The choice of metaphor may be important. Indeed, according to the proposed interface, the level of attention paid by the user to the surrounding environment will be higher or lower, which could interfere with learning of the space. The standard learning environment model, whether real or virtual, follows Thorndyke taxonomy, positioning itself given the movement of visual or sound benchmarks.

We therefore propose to study the effectiveness of several navigation interfaces in terms of navigation and learning of a complex virtual environment:

  • In the first case the user is unsupported and must freely navigate.
  • In the second case, a sound guide is proposed, it consists in the implementation of a sound gradient leading up to its final position
  • And finally, a complete navigation guide with signage to the final position?


Doug A. Bowman, Elizabeth T. Davis, Larry F. Hodges and Albert N. Badre (1999). Maintaining spatial orientation during travel in an immersive virtual environment. Presence. Vol. 8 No. 6 618-631.

Stefano Burigat and Luca Chittaro (1997). Navigation in 3D virtual environments: effects of user experience and location-pointing navigation aids.

Navigation aids