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Redefining global and local landmarks: when does a landmark stop being local and become a global one?

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


Landmarks are key elements in wayfinding process. The impact of global and local landmarks in wayfinding was explored by many researchers and different results were discussed [1,2]. However, a point is still not clear about landmarks: when can a landmark be called as “global”, and when can it be named as “local”? Is it necessary for a global landmark to be seen from any point in a system [3], or is it acceptable if it is seen from many angles and many points [4]? In this study, our goal is to redefine global and local landmarks by using the visibility of landmarks. For this purpose, we used Sea Hero Quest (an online game) and explored landmark visibility in virtual game environments to find a threshold. Participants were asked to navigate a boat and find goal locations in river/canal environments. Meanwhile, the visibility of landmarks from the point where they stand was recorded. This study contributes to the literature by showing an innovative way of showing landmark visibility and by reconsidering global and local landmarks.