ISSN 2083-6473
ISSN 2083-6481 (electronic version)




Associate Editor
Prof. Tomasz Neumann

Published by
TransNav, Faculty of Navigation
Gdynia Maritime University
3, John Paul II Avenue
81-345 Gdynia, POLAND
www http://www.transnav.eu
e-mail transnav@umg.edu.pl
How Does Digital Navigation on Sailboats Affect Spatial Abilities at Sea?
1 Technical University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany
ABSTRACT: Although SOLAS still requires nautical paper charts on pleasure crafts, more and more sailors prefer navigating digitally. What are the impacts on their spatial abilities? We conducted a field experiment at the Baltic coast and two simulator experiments with altogether 40 sailors. Participants plotted and/or piloted routes either in the classic manner on paper charts or digitally on an ECS. We assessed the situation awareness, the cognitive map, and (for the simulator only) the wayfinding with and without the navigation media. We found that digital navigation significantly impaired the cognitive map. Its impact on situation awareness, however, depended on previous navigation habits: Only sailors who used their paper charts regularly and actively benefitted from the ECS. We concluded that ECS navigation with its high level of automation lastingly alters spatial perception at sea and impairs orienting. With the vulnerable electricity supply on sailboats, this is a safety issue for shipping.
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Citation note:
Müller-Plath G.: How Does Digital Navigation on Sailboats Affect Spatial Abilities at Sea?. TransNav, the International Journal on Marine Navigation and Safety of Sea Transportation, Vol. 13, No. 2, doi:10.12716/1001.13.02.05, pp. 299-296, 2019

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