Multi-Scale Navigation Techniques

The design of virtual environments for applications that have several levels of scale has not been deeply addressed. In particular, navigation in such environments is a significant problem. 

The first paper focuses on travel and describes the design and evaluation of two navigation techniques for multi-scale virtual environments (MSVEs). Issues such as spatial orientation and understanding were addressed in the design process of the navigation techniques. The evaluation of the techniques was done with two experimental and two control groups. The results show that the techniques we designed were significantly better than the control conditions with respect to the time for task completion and accuracy. 
The second paper focuses on wayfinding and on the understanding and classification of information needed for travel, as well as on the design of navigation techniques that provide this information. To this end, we first identified two kinds of information necessary for traveling effectively in this kind of environment: hierarchical information, based on the hierarchical structure formed by the levels of scale; and spatial information, related to orientation, distance between objects in different levels of scale and spatial localization. Based on this, we designed and implemented one technique for each kind of information. The developed techniques were evaluated and compared to a baseline set of travel and wayfinding aid techniques for traveling through multiple scales. Results show that the developed techniques perform better and provide a better solution for both travel and wayfinding aid.