Electronic maps for terminal area navigation: effects of frame of reference and dimensionality.Int J Aviat Psychol. 1996; 6(3):241-71.IJ
Two experiments are reported that contrast rotating versus fixed electronic map displays, which pilots used for a simulated approach to a landing. In Experiment 1, a rotating versus fixed-map display was experimentally crossed with a two-dimensional (2D) versus three-dimensional (3D) view (perspective map) as pilots' ability to maintain the flight path and demonstrate awareness of the location of surrounding terrain features were assessed. Rotating displays supported better flight path guidance and did not substantially harm performance on terrain awareness tasks. 3D displays led to a substantial cost for vertical control but did not differ from 2D displays in lateral control. In Experiment 2, pilots flew with the rotating 2D display and with an improved version of the rotating 3D display, designed to reduce the ambiguity of representing altitude information. Vertical control improved as a result of the 3D display design improvement, but lateral control did not. The results are discussed in terms of the costs and benefits of presenting information in 3D, ego-referenced format for both flight path control and terrain awareness.