Game Development Reference
Figure 12.9 Different orientations for display of maps. To the left, the map is aligned on cardinal
directions. To the right, the map is aligned on the direction of the view of the observer.
© Project Iparla, LaBRI-Inria
observer: north-dependent maps and view-dependent maps. These two representations
are illustrated in figure 12.9.
Selection of the map to be used depends on the task to be performed. The north-
dependent maps support a comprehensive knowledge of the environment. On the
other hand, mapping the elements of such a map with the elements observed in the
environment requires a mental rotation by the observer. This mental transformation
will be much easier to implement by observers using an exocentric strategy. As for
maps dependent on viewpoints, they support direct mapping of elements. This type of
map is preferred for egocentric tasks, like finding an intersection within a city.
On the other hand, comprehensive knowledge of the environment is more difficult
to implement with these types of maps.
For virtual environments with huge dimensions, it may be interesting to propose
maps with several levels of details, as illustrated in Figure 12.10. A comprehensive
map lets the observer position himself in the environment, while a detailed map per-
mits him to map its elements with the elements that he is currently observing. This
type of representation is known as “focus plus context'' in the field of information
The use of maps in a virtual environment supports spatial knowledge and therefore
wayfinding. On the other hand, display of these maps as an addition to the subjective
view of the environment may cause problems since the resolution of visualisation