• ‘Are we losing our way?’ Navigational aids, socio-sensory way-finding and the spatial awareness of young adults

      McCullough, David; Collins, Rebecca; University of Chester (Wiley, 2018-07-26)
      Recent advances in the accessibility and reliability of mobile technologies, roaming services and associated data have led to an increased usage of modern navigational devices using Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). This paper reports on a study which explored concerns about over-reliance upon these navigational technologies, specifically amongst young people in the Global North. Based on an experiment in which participants were asked to navigate a series of different (unfamiliar) routes on foot, using different navigational technologies each time, we argue that routes navigated are more memorable, and the process of way-finding is more enjoyable, when navigational tools/methods enable sensory and social interactions. GNSS aids, though claimed by participants as their preferred navigational aid, were the least enabling in this regard. We conclude that, whilst concerns about young people’s way-finding abilities may be overstated, the importance of sensory and social interactions with(in) environments might usefully be borne in mind in the development of future GNSS aids and locative media.