My Research

I am currently finishing my Ph.D. in Geomatics at the Center for Research in Geomatics of Laval University (Canada). My supervisors are Professor Stéphane Roche from Laval University and Professor Michel Lussault from Ecole Normale Sup√©rieure de Lyon (France).

I work on the improvement of wayfinding systems, especially web map services. The main purpose of this project is to make these systems easily understandable for humans. Research in the area of spatial cognition demonstrated that people intuitively include landmarks inside their wayfinding instructions. According to the scientific litterature, the landmarkness is usually associated with the visual, the structural, and the semantic saliencies.

The significance of these three components has not been clearly established. Indeed, visual and structural attractions are based upon objective criteria that can be easily identified (e.g. the position of the object compared to the road, its dimensions, its color, etc.). However, measuring the semantic salience remains quite complex because it is related to the personal (spatial) experience of the traveler.

Due to a lack of relevant data, the semantic salience is frequently limited to the historical and cultural significance of landmark candidates. I argue that VGI data should be exploited to enhance the measure of semantic salience.

Consequently, I firstly attempt to investigate the potential of geosocial data (especially Foursquare and Facebook data) for the detection of landmarks in urban area. I also assess the significance of both the familiarity with the area and the gender of the traveler in the process of landmark selection. In addition, I work on a multi-level map design that could fit with human spatial reasoning in a wayfinding context. Ultimately, I explore the potential of linked data for the measure of landmark saliencies.

In parallel, I am involved in the Canadian research project GeoThink.ca. I work on the accuracy, authenticity, and technical aspects of privacy related to Open Data. For more information, please click here.

T. Quesnot