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Cognitive models of geographical space

Cognitive models of geographical space - int j geographica...

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int. j. geographical information science, 1999 , vol. 13 , no. 8 , 747± 774 Research Article Cognitive models of geographical space DAVID M. MARK National Center for Geographical Information and Analysis, and Department of Geography, University at Bu alo, Box o, NY 14261-0023, USA. e-mail: [email protected] alo.edu CHRISTIAN FREKSA Fachbereich Informatik, Universita È t Hamburg, Vogt-Koelln-Strasse 30, 22527 Hamburg, Germany STEPHEN C. HIRTLE School of Information Sciences, 735 IS Bldg, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA ROBERT LLOYD Department of Geography, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA and BARBARA TVERSKY Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-2130, USA Abstract. This paper reviews research in geographical cognition that provides part of the theoretical foundation of geographical information science. Free- standing research streams in cognitive science, behavioural geography, and carto- graphy converged in the last decade or so with work on theoretical foundations for geographical information systems to produce a coherent research community that advances geographical information science, geographical information sys- tems, and the contributing ® elds and disciplines. Then, we review three high- priority research areas that are the topics for research initiatives within the NCGIA’s Project Varenius. Other topics consider but ranked less important at this time are also reviewed. 1. Introduction As geographical information becomes ubiquitous in a variety of domains and ® eld applications, computational models of geographical cognition become increas- ingly important to the growth of a science of geographical information. This paper reviews the history of research in cognition of geographical space, summarizes the current state of the ® eld, and suggests several important open issues regarding the cognitive component of geographical information science. International Journal of Geographical Information Science ISSN 1365-8816 print / ISSN 1362-3087 online Ñ 1999 Taylor & Francis Ltd http: // www.tandf.co.uk / JNLS / gis.htm http: // www.taylorandfrancis.com / JNLS / gis.htm
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D. M. Mark et al. 748 It is important to recognize the distinction between geographical space and space at other scales or sizes. Palm-top and table-top spaces are small enough to be seen from a single point, and typically are populated with manipulative objects, many of which are made by humans. In contrast, geographical or large-scale spaces are generally too large to be perceived all at once, but can best be thought of as being transperceptual (Downs and Stea 1977, p.197), experienced only by integration of perceptual experiences over space and time through memory and reasoning, or through the use of small-scale models such as maps. Some of our discussions of geographical cognition might not apply to spatial cognition at other scales.
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