Doctoral candidate, Bing Liu, from the Chair of Cartography, won Best Doctoral Colloquium Paper Award in the 6th Immersive Learning Research Network Conference, iLRN2020.

Abstract: Navigation service is a widespread geoinformation service and can be embedded in an augmented reality (AR). In this work-in-progress, we aim at a user interface of AR-based indoor navigation system, which could not only guide users to destinations quickly and safely, but also improve users’ spatial learning. We designed an interface for indoor navigation on HoloLens, gathered feedback from users, and found that arrows are an intuitive aid of orientation. Semantic meanings embedded in icons are not self-explaining, but icons with text can serve as virtual landmarks and help with spatial learning.

To cite this paper: Liu, B., & Meng, L. (2020, June). Doctoral Colloquium—Towards a Better User Interface of Augmented Reality Based Indoor Navigation Application. In 2020 6th International Conference of the Immersive Learning Research Network (iLRN) (pp. 392-394). IEEE.

Her work is about Towards a Better User Interface of Augmented Reality based Indoor Navigation Application. The work-in-progress paper is available online:

How does gender affect indoor wayfinding under time pressure?

ABSTRACT:Indoor wayfinding is an important and complex daily activity. In this study, we aimed to explore the indoor wayfinding performance of pedestrians of different genders under time pressure.We conducted a way finding experiment in a real-world subway station in Beijing using eye-tracking and verbal protocol methods and analyzed wayfinding efficiency, strategies and eye movement data from 38 participants. The results indicated that both male and female participants experienced more difficulty reading maps under time pressure. We also found that males consistently had higher efficiency when they searched for information and could extract information from signage more efficiently than females when they were not under time pressure. Males were more adventurous and preferred to take risks under time pressure, while females consistently maintained a conservative strategy. These findings contribute to the understanding of gender differences in indoor wayfinding and cognition.

TO cite this paper:

Yixuan Zhou, Xueyan Cheng, Lei Zhu, Tong Qin, Weihua Dong & Jiping Liu (2020) How does gender affect indoor wayfinding under time pressure?, Cartography and Geographic Information Science, 47:4, 367-380, DOI: 10.1080/15230406.2020.1760940

Comparing pedestrians’ gaze behavior in desktop and in real environments

ABSTRACT: This research is motivated by the widespread use of desktop environments in the lab and by the recent trend of conducting real-world eye-tracking experiments to investigate pedestrian navigation. Despite the existing significant differences between the real world and the desktop environments, how pedestrians’ visual behavior in real environments differs from that in desktop environments is still not well understood. Here, we report a study that recorded eye movements for a total of 82 participants while they were performing five common navigation tasks in an unfamiliar urban environment (N = 39) and in a desktop environment (N = 43). By analyzing where the participants allocated their visual attention, what objects they fixated on, and how they transferred their visual attention among objects during navigation, we found similarities and significant differences in the general fixation indicators, spatial fixation distributions and attention to the objects of interest. The results contribute to the ongoing debate over the validity of using desktop environments to investigate pedestrian navigation by providing insights into how pedestrians allocate their attention to visual stimuli to accomplish navigation tasks in the two environments.

TO cite this paper:

Weihua Dong, Hua Liao, Bing Liu, Zhicheng Zhan, Huiping Liu, Liqiu Meng & Yu Liu (2020) Comparing pedestrians’ gaze behavior in desktop and in real environments, Cartography and Geographic Information Science, DOI: 10.1080/15230406.2020.1762513


How does map use differ in virtual reality and desktop-based environments?

ABSTRACT: Maps based on virtual reality (VR) are evolving and are being increasingly used in the fifield of geography. However, the advantages of VR based on the map use processes of users over desktop-based environments (DEs) are not fully understood. In this study, an experiment was conducted in which 120 participants performed map use tasks using maps and globes in VR and DE. The participants’ eye movements and questionnaires were collected to compare the map use performance di erences. We analyzed the general metrics, information searching and processing metrics of participants (e.g. response time, RT; average fifixation duration, AFD; average saccade duration, ASD; saccade frequency, SF, etc.) using maps and globes in di erent environments. We found that the participants using VR processed information more effiffifficiently (AFDDE = 233.34 ms, AFDVR = 173.09 ms), and the participants using DE had both a signifificantly shorter response time (RTDE = 88.68 s, RTVR = 124.05 s) and a shorter visual search time (ASDDE = 60.78 ms, ASDVR = 112.13 ms; SFDE = 6.30, SFVR = 2.07). We also found similarities in accuracy, satisfaction and readability. These results are helpful for designing VR maps that can adapt to human cognition and reflflect the advantages of VR.

TO cite this paper:

Weihua Dong, Tianyu Yang, Hua Liao & Liqiu Meng (2020) How does map use differ in virtual reality and desktop-based environments?, International Journal of Digital Earth, DOI: 10.1080/17538947.2020.1731617

Assessing Similarities and Differences between Males and Females in Visual Behaviors in Spatial Orientation Tasks

Abstract: Spatial orientation is an important task in human wayfinding. Existing research indicates sex‐related similarities and differences in performance and strategies when executing spatial orientation behaviors, but few studies have investigated the similarities and differences in visual behaviors between males and females. To address this research gap, we explored visual behavior similarities and differences between males and females using an eye‐tracking method. We recruited 40 participants to perform spatial orientation tasks in a desktop environment and recorded their eye‐tracking data during these tasks. The results indicate that there are no significant differences between sexes in efficiency and accuracy of spatial orientation. In terms of visual behaviors, we found that males fixated significantly longer than females on roads. Males and females had similar fixation counts in building, signpost, map, and other objects. Males and females performed similarly in fixation duration for all five classes. Moreover, fixation duration was well fitted to an exponential function for both males and females. The base of the exponential function fitted by males’ fixation duration was significantly lower than that of females, and the coefficient difference of exponential function was not found. Females were more effective in switching from maps to signposts, but differences of switches from map to other classes were not found. The newfound similarities and differences between males and females in visual behavior may aid in the design of better human centered outdoor navigation applications.

To cite this paper:

Dong, W.; Zhan, Z.; Liao, H.; Meng, L.; Liu, J. Assessing Similarities and Differences between Males and Females in Visual Behaviors in Spatial Orientation Tasks. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 20209, 115.

Differences in the Gaze Behaviours of Pedestrians Navigating between Regular and Irregular Road Patterns

Abstract:While a road pattern influences wayfinding and navigation, its influence on the gaze behaviours of navigating pedestrians is not well documented. In this study, we compared gaze behaviour differences between regular and irregular road patterns using eye-tracking technology. Twenty-one participants performed orientation (ORI) and shortest route selection (SRS) tasks with both road patterns. We used accuracy of answers and response time to estimate overall performance and time to first fixation duration, average fixation duration, fixation count and fixation duration to estimate gaze behaviour. The results showed that participants performed better with better accuracy of answers using irregular road patterns. For both tasks and both road patterns, the Label areas of interest (AOIs) (including shops and signs) received quicker or greater attention. The road patterns influenced gaze behaviour for both Road AOIs and Label AOIs but exhibited a greater influence on Road AOIs in both tasks. In summary, for orientation and route selection, users are more likely to rely on labels, and roads with irregular patterns are important. These findings may serve as the anchor point for determining how people’s gaze behaviours differ depending on road pattern and indicate that labels and unique road patterns should be highlighted for better wayfinding and navigation.

To site this paper:

Liu, B.; Dong, W.; Zhan, Z.; Wang, S.; Meng, L. Differences in the Gaze Behaviours of Pedestrians Navigating between Regular and Irregular Road Patterns. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 20209, 45.


Comparing the roles of landmark visual salience and semantic salience in visual guidance during indoor wayfinding



Abstract:Landmark visual salience (characterized by features that contrast with their surroundings and visual peculiarities) and semantic salience (characterized by features with unusual or important meaning and content in the environment) are two important factors that affect an individual’s visual attention during wayfinding. However, empirical evidence regarding which factor dominates visual guidance during indoor wayfinding is rare, especially in real-world environments. In this study, we assumed that semantic salience dominates the guidance of visual attention, which means that semantic salience will correlate with participants’ fixations more significantly than visual salience. Notably, in previous studies, semantic salience was shown to guide visual attention in static images or familiar scenes in a laboratory environment. To validate this assumption, first, we collected the eyemovement data of 22 participants as they found their way through a building. We then computed the landmark visual and semantic salience using computer vision models and questionnaires, respectively. Finally, we conducted correlation tests to verify our assumption. The results failed to validate our assumption and show that the role of salience in visual guidance in a real-world wayfinding process is different from the role of salience in perceiving static images or scenes in a laboratory. Visual salience dominates visual attention during indoor wayfinding, but the roles of salience in visual guidance are mixed across different landmark classes and tasks. The results provide new evidence for understanding how pedestrians visually interpret landmark information during real-world indoor wayfinding.

To site this paper:

Weihua Dong, Tong Qin, Hua Liao, Yu Liu & Jiping Liu (2019) Comparing the roles of landmark visual salience and semantic salience in visual guidance during indoor wayfinding, Cartography and Geographic Information Science.

 DOI: 10.1080/15230406.2019.1697965



地图是人类日常生活中不可或缺的工具。地图认知作为研究人对地图的感知、学习、记忆、推理和决策的科学,一直以来是地图学基础理论的重要内容。作为地图认知研究的核心,近年来地图视觉认知在相关学科(如心理学、认知科学和计算机视觉)和新的研究手段(如眼动跟踪、脑电和核磁)的促进下取得了一系列新的研究成果。尤其是眼动跟踪方法作为地图视觉认知研究的重要手段之一,越来越受到研究者的关注,为地图视觉认知研究的定量化、实用化提供了有力支撑。本文系统地梳理了2008年以来眼动跟踪方法在地图视觉认知研究中取得的新进展,并将其归纳为6个发展趋势,分别包括:① 刺激材料:从静态地图到动态交互地图;② 研究范围:从地图认知到地图空间认知;③ 实验环境:从实验室环境到真实环境;④ 地图维度:从二维地图到三维地图;⑤ 个体差异:从单一维度到多维度;⑥ 研究目的:从规律探究到实践应用。本文最后总结了未来研究面临的挑战、难点和可能的解决方法,期望能在地图视觉认知研究中起到抛砖引玉的作用。


 董卫华, 廖华, 詹智成, 刘兵, 王圣凯, 杨天宇. 2008年以来地图学眼动与视觉认知研究新进展[J]. 地理学报, 2019, 74(3): 599-614.

Weihua DONG, Hua LIAO, Zhicheng ZHAN, Bing LIU, Shengkai WANG, Tianyu YANG. New research progress of eye tracking-based map cognition in cartography since 2008[J]. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2019, 74(3): 599-614.






杨斯棋,邢潇月,董卫华,李帅朋,詹智成,王全意,杨鹏,张奕. 北京市甲型H1N1流感对气象因子的时空响应[J]. 地理学报, 2018, 73(3): 460-473.

YANG Siqi,XING Xiaoyue,DONG Weihua,LI Shuaipeng,ZHAN Zhicheng,WANG Quanyi,YANG Peng,ZHANG Yi. The spatio-temporal response of influenza A (H1N1) to meteorological factors in Beijing[J]. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2018, 73(3): 460-473.


Real-time forecasting of hand-foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks using the integrating compartment model and assimilation filtering

Abstract: Hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) is a highly contagious viral infection, and real-time predicting of HFMD outbreaks will facilitate the timely implementation of appropriate control measures. By integrating a susceptible-exposed-infectious-recovered (SEIR) model and an ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) assimilation method, we developed an integrated compartment model and assimilation filtering forecast model for real-time forecasting of HFMD. When applied to HFMD outbreak data collected for 2008–11 in Beijing, China, our model successfully predicted the peak week of an outbreak three weeks before the actual arrival of the peak, with a predicted maximum infection rate of 85% or greater than the observed rate. Moreover, dominant virus types enterovirus 71 (EV-71) and coxsackievirus A16 (CV-A16) may account for the different patterns of HFMD transmission and recovery observed. The results of this study can be used to inform agencies responsible for public health management of tailored strategies for disease control efforts during HFMD outbreak seasons.

To site this paper:

Zhan, Z.; Dong, W.; Lu, Y.; Yang, P.; Wang, Q.; Jia, P. Real-time forecasting of hand-foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks using the integrating compartment model and assimilation filtering. Scientific Reports 2019, 9, 2661.