Research showed that the city centre of Bristol has a notoriously poor ‘mental
picture’ – so the design of usable maps was adopted very early on
in route-finding concepts. The final designs adopted a unique ‘heads-up’
viewpoint of pedestrian maps with the addition of three-dimensional landmarks.
Their development is focussed on their ability to be helpful to the general
public – who contributed during tests and research.
The majority of the population do not have the specialist dimensional skill
of a map-reader, an architect or an orienteer – who can view a north-south
map and calculate direction. So the ‘Heads-up’ maps used on panels
in the street are oriented according to where they are situated, and not north-south.
What you see on the map is right in front of you. Each panel is therefore designed
individually - on the 40 in the current system there are 80 uniquely different
local walking maps.