Â© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Navigation is a task performed in both large and small scale environments. Landmarks within an environment are of great benefit to these navigational tasks, but in large rural environments such landmarks may be sparse. It has been shown that landmarks need not be purely visual and that a change in context for a feature can make it become a landmark against its surroundings (such as being provided with significant meaning). Such meaning could be added through personal experience or by informing the observer via some form of communication. To investigate the effects of providing such contextual information on navigational performance, experiments were conducted in a large rural virtual environment where the delivery method of the information was varied between onscreen and PDA display. Users were instructed to perform a route tracing navigation task. In some instances users were presented with textual information about specific locations within the environment which appeared when they were in the vicinity of the location. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analyzed, with results indicating that although the actual performance in the task was not significantly improved, users felt that their performance was better and the task easier when they were presented with the contextual information.