Just as the Pathfinder used the lake and the oak tree to reconstruct his environment, so do we structure our environment with streets and houses, landmarks and guiding principles to aid spatial orientation and wayfinding. The basic process of navigation-extracting information, forming mental representations, and using that representation for route planning and moving about-transcends the physical elements of the environment itself. In practice, we use whatever the environment gives us to solve navigation problems as they arise, in the process, continually refining and updating our internal model of the external environment. Although the virtual environments we speak of may be vastly different in their appearance from the Pathfinder's world, the principles underlying spatial orientation and wayfinding in large-scale virtual spaces have many commonalities
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