- Term Papers and Free Essays

Spatial Knowledge

Essay by   •  November 16, 2010  •  623 Words (3 Pages)  •  894 Views

Essay Preview: Spatial Knowledge

Report this essay
Page 1 of 3

Spatial Knowledge

Spatial Knowledge

• Spatial representation

• Mental maps - people can navigate with or without maps but learning has been associated with maps such as learning a location by associating it with a landmark

o Large-scale space - map of country, province

o Small-scale space


• Representations (format that things in external environment are remembered or dealt with in a cognitive system) and referents (outside world)

o How things “out there” are represented in the mind?

• Analog (represents things that are directly related to the outside world) vs. propositional

• An internal (i.e. mental) model of the outside world

o It does not need to resemble the object

o Just preserve the functional operations

o Example: a map is not an exact copy of the outside world (really good maps still leave some information out)

Analog Representations (visuospatial)

• Mimics the character of the real thing

o Vinyl records (analog because it mimics the character of the �real things’ - the sounds that we are expecting to hear) vs. MP3’s

o Example: map of route from Minda’s house too SSC as it mimics the character of the real thing

Propositional (verbal)

• Propositions are statements of fact (not mental images)

• Even spatial information could be propositional

o E.g., computer “represents” picture with binary code

o E.g., Exact directions from Minda’s to SSC

Spatial Knowledge

• The type of representation determines what is easy and hard to do

• Analog

o Representing space with space

o Easy to measure distance

o Can find alternative routes or locations

o Easy to determine relative direction

• Propositions

o Easy to create directions

o Easy to communicate directions

o Easy to refer to locations

Cognitive Map

• Survey map

o Overhead perspective and relative locations

o Quick to learn

o Easy to plan routes

o More like a true analog representation

• Thorndyke & Hayes Roth (1982)

o Learn a floor plan

o Some tasks were easy (estimating distance)

o Others were not easy (pointing to one location while standing in another)

• Route maps

o Knowledge about the route

o Gained from experience

o Requires more time to learn

o Orientation can be difficult

o Resulting knowledge is idiosyncratic (Wang & Spekle, 2002)


• Finding 30302 Via Bella, San Juan Capistrano

o My aunt gets lost all the time

o She writes “Do not use will take you to another house in Capistrano Beach.”

o Mapquest gives two directions simultaneously

o I’ve never been there

• A lot of information is integrated into people’s everyday experiences

Large Scale Space

• Maps of large-scale space

o What is our sense of the locations of items in the world?

• Hierarchical representations

o Local space relative to higher order space

o Question: Which is further north - Victoria, BC or Ottawa, ON?

o Victoria BC is the answer but it seems like



Download as:   txt (5.4 Kb)   pdf (84.2 Kb)   docx (11.2 Kb)  
Continue for 2 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2010, 11). Spatial Knowledge. Retrieved 11, 2010, from

"Spatial Knowledge" 11 2010. 2010. 11 2010 <>.

"Spatial Knowledge.", 11 2010. Web. 11 2010. <>.

"Spatial Knowledge." 11, 2010. Accessed 11, 2010.