Getting from A to B has never been easier. Mobile navigation systems allow universal access to spatial information. However, following detailed route instructions leads to a decrease in spatial exploration behaviour and therefore a reduction of spatial knowledge acquisition. Facilitating spatial exploration has the potential to counteract this negative effect. This paper investigates how we can support people in re-discovering their surroundings. We designed and evaluated a mobile application to promote spatial exploration through gamification. The app requires active exploration behaviour to uncover a map. Gamification elements such as quests, statistics, and social competition are used to encourage exploration. We conducted an exploratory field study (n = 22). Our results show a significant increase in familiarity with the environment and a variety of exploration patterns. Based on our findings, we propose modifications to current mapping applications by limiting the visible cartographic elements and alternating routes to improve spatial knowledge acquisition.
The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (https://chi2023.acm.org/)