Kai-Florian Richter

Kai-Florian Richter
Umeå University | UMU · Department of Computing Science

Dr.-ing.

About

129
Publications
62,782
Reads
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2,120
Citations
Introduction
I am a computer scientist by training (specializing in AI and knowledge representation) who has worked in CS, information science, geomatic engineering, and geography. My work is and has always been interdisciplinary. It is firmly located at the intersection of AI, human-computer interaction, spatial cognition, and geographic information science. Accordingly, interests are broad and publications seem diverse, but they (more or less) all address questions of exploiting properties/characteristics of environments in decision making, identification (processes) of relevant information, and adaptation (processes) in interaction.
Additional affiliations
April 2013 - present
University of Zurich
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
July 2010 - March 2013
University of Melbourne
Position
  • Lecturer
October 2009 - April 2010
University of Pittsburgh
Position
  • Associate Scholar
Education
August 2002 - June 2007
Universitaet Bremen
Field of study
  • Informatics
October 1994 - July 2001
University of Hamburg
Field of study
  • Informatics

Publications

Publications (129)
Article
Full-text available
A hierarchical data model is needed in mobile navigation systems to generate route instructions on multiple levels of detail (LODs), thereby adapting to users' various information needs during navigation. In complex multi-storey indoor environments, existing hierarchical data models mainly rely on logical graphs that represent indoor cellular space...
Article
Full-text available
Today's navigation assistance systems provide turn-by-turn instructions, which only focus on the next decision to take without offering any larger context. Information presentation is uniform and disconnected, i.e., any local instruction is equally important and not linked to any other decisions or the overall route context. This differs from how p...
Article
Full-text available
Anecdotal evidence shows that, sometimes, the instructions generated by a navigation service do not seem to match with how a wayfinder understands the given wayfinding situation. Such issues may make processing instructions harder for the wayfinder, and it may be a potential source of wayfinding errors and dangerous behaviour. These mismatches may...
Conference Paper
In mobile navigation systems, an appropriate level of detail of the route instructions provided is important for navigation users to understand, memorise, and follow routes. However, few existing indoor navigation systems are capable of providing route instructions with multiple levels of detail. To close this gap, it is critical to model indoor en...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Existing cognitively motivated path search models ignore that we are hardly ever alone when navigating through an environment. They neither account for traffic nor for the social costs that being routed through certain areas may incur. In this paper, we analyse the effects of `not being alone' on different path search models, in particular on faste...
Article
Full-text available
Navigation systems are ubiquitous tools to assist wayfinders of the mobile information society with various navigational tasks. Whenever such systems assist with self-localization and path planning, they reduce human effort for navigating. Automated navigation assistance benefits navigation performance, but research seems to show that it negatively...
Article
Full-text available
We report on a multicriteria decision-making study where participants were asked to purchase a house shown on maps that include hazard prediction information. We find that participants decided to buy different houses, depending on whether uncertainty is shown on the map display and on the type of uncertainty visualization (i.e., varying color value...
Article
Full-text available
In the absence of any global positioning infrastructure for indoor environments, research on supporting human indoor localization and navigation trails decades behind research on outdoor localization and navigation. The major barrier to broader progress has been the dependency of indoor positioning on environment-specific infrastructure and resulti...
Article
In the past decade, Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) has emerged as a new source of geographic information, making it a cheap and universal competitor to existing authoritative data sources. The growing popularity of VGI platforms, such as OpenStreetMap (OSM), would trigger malicious activities such as vandalism or spam. Similarly, wrong en...
Conference Paper
With the development of modern geovisual analytics tools, several researchers have emphasized the importance of understanding users' cognitive, perceptual, and affective tendencies for supporting spatial decisions with geographic information displays (GIDs). However, most recent technological developments have focused on support for navigation in t...
Chapter
With the development of modern geovisual analytics tools, several researchers have emphasized the importance of understanding users’ cognitive, perceptual, and affective tendencies for supporting spatial decisions with geographic information displays (GIDs). However, most recent technological developments have focused on support for navigation in t...
Article
Recreation is a basic human need and therefore must be considered in spatial planning, which requires spatially explicit mapping of the recreation suitability of a landscape. The current methods for this type of mapping have limitations: On one hand, widely used expert-based models for large scale suitability assessments often suffer from discrepan...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Navigation systems are popular, as they support navigators in their everyday wayfinding activities. However, what happens to spatial knowledge acquisition and retention with increasing reliance on navigation system support? We conducted an outdoor wayfinding study with pedestrians , supported by the eye tracking data collection method, to investiga...
Chapter
Travelers happily follow the route instructions of their devices when navigating in an unknown environment. Navigation systems focus on route instructions to allow the user to efficiently reach a destination, but their increased use also has negative consequences. We argue that the limitation for spatial knowledge acquisition is grounded in the sys...
Poster
Travelers happily follow the route instructions of their devices when navigating in an unknown environment. Navigation systems focus on route instructions to allow the user to efficiently reach a destination, but their increased use also has negative consequences. We argue that the limitation for spatial knowledge acquisition is grounded in the sys...
Conference Paper
Travelers happily follow the route instructions of their devices when navigating in an unknown environment. Navigation systems focus on route instructions to allow the user to efficiently reach a destination, but their increased use also has negative consequences. We argue that the limitation for spatial knowledge acquisition is grounded in the sys...
Article
Full-text available
In this short article we present concepts of indoor localization and navigation that are independent of sensors embedded in the environment, and thus, standing against the tide of technology-based indoor localization. The motivation for doing so is clear: We seek solutions that are independent of particular environments, and thus globally applicabl...
Article
We report on how visual realism might influence map-based route learning performance in a controlled laboratory experiment with 104 male participants in a competitive context. Using animations of a dot moving through routes of interest, we find that participants recall the routes more accurately with abstract road maps than with more realistic sate...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents an illustrated, validated taxonomy of research that compares spatial measures to human behavior. Spatial measures quantify the spatial characteristics of environments, such as the centrality of intersections in a street network or the accessibility of a room in a building from all the other rooms. While spatial measures have bee...
Article
Full-text available
Incorporating references to landmarks in navigation systems requires having data on potential landmarks in the first place. While there have been many approaches in the scientific literature for identifying landmark candidates, these have hardly been picked up in actual, running systems. One major obstacle for this to happen may be that most—if not...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We gladly use automated technology (e.g., smart devices) to extend our hard working minds. But what if such technology turns into mind crutches we suddenly cannot do without? Understanding how varying levels of automation in mobile maps might impact navigation performance and spatial knowledge acquisition will provide important insights for the ong...
Article
Evacuation is a time critical process in which the highest priority is to get those people who may be affected by a disaster out of the danger zone as fast as possible. For disaster-prone areas, authorities often distribute evacuation plans well in advance, or encourage the population to prepare themselves for eventual disasters. This paper present...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In recent years, more and more volunteers join crowdsourcing activities for collecting geodata which in turn might result in higher rates of man-made mistakes in open geo-spatial databases such as OpenStreetMap (OSM). While there are some methods for monitoring the accuracy and consistency of the created data, there is still a lack of advanced syst...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We detail a novel empirical approach with in-situ psycho-physiological measurements to assess how stress influences spatial knowledge acquisition, mobile map use, and wayfinding success when performing a navigation task in an unknown urban environment. We recorded pedestrians’ navigation trajectories, mobile map interactions, eye movements, and gal...
Article
Full-text available
We gladly use automated technology (e.g., smart devices) to extend our hard working minds. But what if such technology turns into mind crutches we cannot do without? Understanding how varying levels of automation in mobile maps might impact navigation performance and spatial knowledge acquisition will provide important insights for the ongoing deba...
Article
We detail a novel empirical approach with in-situ psycho-physiological measurements to assess how stress influences spatial knowledge acquisition, mobile map use, and wayfinding success when performing a navigation task in an unknow urban environment. We recorded pedestrians’ navigation trajectories, mobile map interactions, eye movements, and galv...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Extensive research has focused on what constitutes good route directions , identifying qualities such as the logical sequential ordering, the inclusion of landmarks, and ergonomic ways of referring to turns as critical to delivering cognitively adequate instructions. In many cases, however, people are not actually provided with route directions adh...
Article
Full-text available
Landmarks are crucial elements in how people understand and communicate about space. In wayfinding they provide references that are preferred and easier to follow than distances or street names alone. Thus, the inclusion of landmarks into navigation services is a long-held goal, but its implementation has largely failed so far. To a large part this...
Chapter
Full-text available
Extensive research has focused on what constitutes good route directions, identifying qualities such as the logical sequential ordering, the inclusion of landmarks, and ergonomic ways of referring to turns as critical to delivering cognitively adequate instructions. In many cases, however, people are not actually provided with route directions adhe...
Article
Full-text available
By increasing the popularity of smart phones equipped with GPS sensors, more volunteers are expected to join VGI (Volunteered Geographic Information) activities and therefore more positional data will be collected in shorter time. Current statistics from open databases such OpenStreetMap reveals that although there have been exponential growth in t...
Article
Full-text available
Because of increasing popularity of smart phones equipped with GPS sensors, more volunteers are expected to join VGI (Volunteered Geographic Information) activities and therefore more positional data will be collected in shorter time. Current statistics from open databases such as OpenStreetMap reveal that although there has been an exponential gro...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Humans engage in wayfinding many times a day. We try to find our way in urban environments when walking towards our work places or when visiting a city as tourists. In order to reach the targeted destination, we have to make a series of wayfinding decisions of varying complexity. Previous research has focused on classifying the complexity of these...
Article
Full-text available
Both maps and verbal descriptions have been shown to be an effective wayfinding assistance. However, most studies investigating these aids have been performed in two-dimensional spaces that ignore level changes. It seems less clear that both types of assistance work equally well in settings that involve going up some stairs or taking an elevator. I...
Chapter
This chapter concludes the book. It briefly summarizes what we have discussed in the previous six chapters and then looks ahead. In particular, we contemplate what it takes for a geospatial system to be intelligent , and what we still miss at the moment in order to build such systems. Overall, we believe that we have provided an appreciation and be...
Chapter
A thought experiment illustrates the fundamental role of landmarks for spatial abilities such as memory, orientation and wayfinding , and especially for human communication about space. We take a constructive approach, starting from a void environment and adding experiences supporting spatial abilities.
Chapter
Landmarks, by their pure existence, structure environments. They form cognitive anchors, markers, or reference points for orientation , wayfinding and communication. They appear in our sketches, in descriptions of meeting points or routes, and as the remarkable objects of an environment in tourist brochures. With all their significance for spatial...
Chapter
This chapter deals with the human mind and its representation of geographic space, particularly with the role of landmarks in these representations. The scientific disciplines that are called upon to illuminate this area are neuroscience, cognitive science, and linguistics. This broad range of disciplines is necessary, because the structure of spat...
Chapter
In this chapter, we will explore how to ‘compute’ a landmark. We will look at ways to calculate that some geographic object sticks out from its background. We will also discuss approaches for selecting the most appropriate landmark for describing specific spatial situations. Both these aspects are important steps for the integration of landmarks in...
Chapter
Landmarks seem to be cross with current spatial data models. We have argued that landmarks are mental concepts having a fundamental role in forming the spatial reference frame for mental spatial representations. But landmarks are not a fundamental category in current geographic information modelling. For example, among Kuhn’s list of core concepts...
Chapter
Landmarks are fundamental in human communication about their environments. This chapter will discuss what it takes to incorporate them into human-computer interaction. We will look at the principle requirements for such communication, and discuss how computers may produce and understand verbal and graphical references to landmarks. We will also pre...
Article
Full-text available
Spatial information in the form of location-based services, spatial queries, geographical information systems, navigation systems and other spatially aware tools have become commonplace in the past decade. This workshop reviews cutting edge research in the area of spatial information science, including navigation and wayfinding, the use of shared s...
Book
This book covers the latest research on landmarks in GIS, including practical applications. It addresses perceptual and cognitive aspects of natural and artificial cognitive systems, computational aspects with respect to identifying or selecting landmarks for various purposes, and communication aspects of human-computer interaction for spatial info...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we review the current literature on geographic information retrieval based on place names. We focus on the positional uncertainties and the extent of vagueness frequently associated with place names in linguistic place descriptions and on the differences between common users’ perception and the way the geographic information services...
Article
Full-text available
Evacuation is an urgent measure of disaster response. It requires route planning by many individual agents under circumstances that include the agents’ limited knowledge of their environment, an unknown impact of the disaster on the environment, and potentially destroyed, blocked, congested or lacking communication infrastructure. These circumstanc...
Chapter
Full-text available
In the past decades, empirical research has established the importance of landmarks in our understanding of and communication about space. These findings have led to the development of several computational approaches for the automatic identification and integration of landmarks in navigation instructions. However, so far this research has failed t...
Chapter
Full-text available
Hierarchical place descriptions are a common means for people to communicate about place. Within them hierarchically ordered elements are linked by explicit or implicit relationships. This study analyses place descriptions collected in a mobile game, investigating hierarchies based on a classification of spatial granularity. The main findings show...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The chapter investigates the identification of hierarchical structures in place descriptions. Different approaches to classify spatial granularity will be compared and applied to a corpus of human place descriptions. Results show how hierarchical structures as well as deviations depend on the respective classifications. They further indicate certai...
Chapter
This contribution provides an overview of elements of cognitively ergonomic route directions. Cognitive ergonomics, in general, seeks to identify characteristics of cognitive information processing and to formalize these characteristics such that they can be used to improve information systems. For route directions, an increasing number of behavior...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The current keyword- and substring matches-based retrieval methods most search engines rely on to answer spatial queries ignore the more specific interpretations of spatial relations. Moreover, the use of the general preposition "at" in natural language queries results in underspecified locations. This paper examines the use of "at" in a set of cro...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
People communicate about locations using place descriptions. Despite the growth of mobile location- and context-aware applications, the automatic interpretation of place descriptions remains a challenge. Currently no software tools exist that are capable of understanding complex verbal spatial language. This paper explores a corpus of place descrip...
Article
Full-text available
Place, a concept originating from human geography [1, 2], has recently become a hot topic in GIScience: place is important in human cognition and communication, and hence, is a high priority for human-computer interaction research. But place is also a challenging concept to model, reason with, and analyze in information systems, because of its flue...
Article
Full-text available
Automated route guidance systems, both web-based systems and en-route systems, have become commonplace in recent years. These systems often replace human-generated directions, which are often incomplete, vague, or in error. However, human-generated directions have the ability to differentiate between easy and complex steps through language in a way...
Article
Full-text available
Technologies for capturing large amounts of real-time and high-detail data about the environment have advanced rapidly; our ability to use this data for understanding the monitored settings for decision-making has not. Visual analytics, creating suitable tools and interfaces that combine computational powers with the human’s capabilities for visual...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Finding a destination in a new spatial environment can be a daunting task. To aid navigation, many people take advantage of route directions, either provided by other people or by electronic navigation services. However, their effectiveness may be hampered if they are overly complex. While most people are generally good at focusing on important inf...
Article
Full-text available
There is an increasing number of rapidly growing repositories capturing the movement of people in spacetime. Movement trajectory compression becomes an obvious necessity for coping with such growing data volumes. This paper intro-duces Semantic Trajectory Compression (STC), which allows for substantially compress-ing trajectory data with acceptable...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Evacuation is one of the most urgent measures of disaster response. It requires spatio-temporal decision making by many individual agents under circumstances that include an unknown impact of the disaster on the environment, which impedes the evacuation planning, and potentially destroyed, blocked or lacking communication infrastructure, which impe...
Article
Full-text available
Compared with typical outdoor spaces, indoor spaces are clustered and have a fragmented social structure and diverse groups use the space in different ways, which results in different conceptualizations. Accordingly, these spaces pose many challenges for spatial information systems, amongst them appropriate spatial communication with users as diffe...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Crowd sourcing [1], citzens as sensors [2], user-generated content [3,4], or volunteered geographic information [5] describe a relatively recent phenomenon that points to dramatic changes in our information economy. Users of a system, who often are not trained in the matter at hand, contribute data that they collected without a central authority ma...