‘Virtual Tourist’ is a cognitive geovisualization experiment exploring mapsupported
spatial learning processes in an interactive, virtual urban environment. At ELTE Cognitive
Cartography Lab the multidisciplinary experiment was designed to contribute to the
study and better understanding of the role of visuospatial displays in spatial cognition.
In our experiments we recorded the virtual spatial behaviour and real gaze tracks
of 62 subjects. The analysis of the accumulated data suggested no significant differences
in the efficiency of navigation between the three groups. For further investigation
we found that – although salient visual cues grasped the attention of all participants
– guided groups could not benefit from the acquired landmark knowledge. On the other
hand, the free exploration group looked less frequently but longer at the map, moreover,
they used the map while walking.