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
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