…there are two ways to give directions. One is using a so-called "route
perspective", as in the example above. This adopts a first-person
spatial perspective and is characterised by references to turns and
landmarks. The other is a so-called "survey perspective", which gives
directions as if looking down upon a map. This type of direction giving
is characterised by references to cardinal directions (North, South,
East and West) and precise distances.
And which is better?
When Hund’s team used a fictitious model town made of plywood to test
the ability of undergraduates to follow directions, they uncovered a
curious anomaly. The students reported finding route perspective
directions easier to follow and yet they steered a toy car to a
destination more quickly and effectively when they were following
Here is further analysis. I prefer the survey perspective. Maybe it is a language issue, but I find it very difficult when most Europeans give directions. Too often they cite concepts such as "up," "down," "over," "beyond," and the like. Is it really necessary to say "hoch fahren"? NESW, please. Which method do you prefer or perhaps some other?