Living in the DC area I intuitively knew what these anthropologists spent time and money figuring out--the travel patterns of residents and tourists are different. The fact leads to things like tourists seeing sights and visiting vicinities which the resident has never seen.
When I was in the Army stationed at Ft. Belvoir I did a lot of tourist stuff. Since I've lived here, hardly any, except when escorting visitors.
As far as the "settling in" of new residents, my guess is it's personality-dependent: the amount of exploring before establishing habits/patterns will vary.