3-D Nautical Charts and Safe Navigation
In spite of all electronic navigation devices on a modern ship bridge, navigators still lose their orientation. Reasons for this might be excessive cognitive workload caused by too many instruments to read and compile, navigation information that is displayed in a cognitively demanding way, short decision times due to high speed or fatigue due to minimum manning and long work hours.
This work addresses the problem of map information displayed in a less than optimal way. Three new concepts are presented: the bridge perspective, the NoGO area polygons and a dual lane seaway network. Map reading can be difficult due to the problem of mental rotations. By allowing a 3-D nautical chart to be viewed from an egocentric bridge perspective, the need for mental rotations can be removed. The cognitively demanding calculations necessary to find out if there is enough water under the keel can be made by the chart system and the result displayed as of free water and NoGo areas. On land car driving is facilitated by a road-network and a sign system. This notion can be further developed on sea and make navigation easier and safer.
These concepts were then tested in a laboratory experiment, in interviews and in a prototyping project. The results were very promising. The experiment in a laboratory maze showed that map reading from an egocentric perspective was more efficient than using traditional paper and electronic maps. Interviews and expert evaluation of prototypes also showed great interest from practitioners in the field.