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Wayfinding

  • By: Alexander Klippel
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Wayfinding is the cognitive-conceptual process of finding and planning a route from an origin to a destination through a known, partially known, or unknown environment. Travel from an origin to a destination is a fundamental human activity that nearly everyone completes on a daily basis. The centrality of wayfinding to humans is made evident by the expanding knowledge domain specific to wayfinding and related concepts as well as the booming, multimillion-dollar industry providing services and support for wayfinding and navigation technologies.

Wayfinding should be distinguished from locomotion (movement) and navigation. Wayfinding is the cognitive-conceptual aspect of route finding and planning, locomotion refers to the actual physical movement of a cognitive agent in an environment, and navigation is a stylized form of wayfinding that typically includes ...

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