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