Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Way-Finding and Signposting:\ud Penance or Prosthesis?

By David V. Canter


A 70 year old woman up from the country spent three days trying to get out of a\ud hypermarket in Utrecht. She told police who rescued her she was afraid to ask\ud other shoppers how to get out (Glasgow Herald, April 1979).\ud All form of public information and direction finding systems, whether they are\ud maps, signposts, guides, display boards or whatever, exist within the context of the\ud human use of the built or natural environment. The use and purpose of these\ud communication systems is therefore of interest to people, from a variety of\ud disciplines, who also have a concern for the human use of the physical\ud environment, human geographers, architects, planners and environmental\ud psychologists. Furthermore, in order to understand fully the psychological\ud significance of signposting and the like, and thus be able to produce systems which\ud can be more effectively utilised, it is necessary to understand the relevance of the\ud normal use of the physical surroundings. This chapter summarises some of the\ud research into the ways people navigate within, and make sense of, their physical\ud surroundings, of such relevance to the creation and study of public information and\ud direction-finding systems

Topics: BF, H1
Publisher: Dartmouth Publishing Company
Year: 1996
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (1977). A Study 0/ Health Centre Environment and Patient State Anxiety, unpublished MSc thesis,
  2. (1976). Children's Cognitive Maps 0/ London Zoo, unpublished MSc thesis,
  3. (1970). Direction Finding in Large Buildings', doi
  4. (1977). Directional Signing and lAbelling in Libraries and Museums: A Review o/Current Theories and Practice, Readability of Print Research Unit, Royal College of Art,
  5. (1975). Distance estimation in cities', doi
  6. (1975). Environmental Interaction,
  7. (1975). Fires and Human Behaviour, doi
  8. (1976). Manating the Sense o/Region,
  9. (1913). On Fundamental Methods of Orientations and Imagining Maps', doi
  10. (1976). Psychological Maps of Paris', Proshanky et al (eds), Environmental Psychology, IIlolt,
  11. (1974). Seat Selection in Dental Waiting Rooms, unpublished MSc thesis,
  12. (1978). Shopping Behaviour, unpublished MSc thesis,
  13. (1978). Signposting: Penance or Prosthesis? 155
  14. (1960). The Image o/the City, doi
  15. (1975). The Spatiality 0/ Situations, unpublished PhD thesis,
  16. (1947). Unrecognised Territory: The Place of Imagination in Geography',
  17. (1973). Urban Environmental Perception and Behaviour, doi
  18. (1975). Way-Finding Behaviour, Unpublished MSc thesis,
  19. (1969). Why Buildings are Known', doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.