article publié dans la revue Pervasive and mobile Computing, 2013, vol 9 n° 5,p. 722-737
We describe a novel methodology that examines perceptions of urban space, and present a study using this methodology that explores people’s perceptions of their neighbourhood. Previous studies of spatial cues have involved a variety of tasks such as pointing and sketching to externalise participants’ internal spatial maps. Our methodology extends these approaches by introducing mobile technologies alongside traditional materials and tasks. Participants use mobile phones to carry out self-guided neighbourhood tours. We collected rich qualitative data from 15 participants during two workshops and a self-directed neighbourhood tour. Our study highlights the use of public and private landmarks, differences in spatial maps of rural versus urban dwellers, and individual variance in orientation strategies. These themes suggest guidelines for the design of technologies with personalised spatial profiles.