Navigation, the ability to find a way of getting to a desired destination, is an important skill that we use on a daily base. Even though GPS and technology have made it a lot easier to get around, there are situations where we still need to rely on our ability to plan a route that leads us to a particular location: Sightseeing during our holidays, going hiking in the country side, or meeting friends for dinner in our favourite restaurant – these are just a few examples of situations where we rely on our navigation skills.
In my PhD, I focus on human route planning in an urban environment. Especially in a complex city like London, environmental structures, such as landmarks, bridges, the river, or the whole street network, can facilitate or impair our route planning. Working with the navigation exports of London, i.e. licensed London taxi drivers who can flexibly navigate London without using a physical map, helps us to understand these processes and the importance of human route planning in a world of GPS systems and other navigation aids.