Spatial cognition for better GIS?

I read the article of Richardson et al. and I find it very interesting how different experiences (maps, navigation, virtual environments) enable different representations and different ways of learning space. I see that the study of spatial cognition can be a way to design more accessible GIS to the users. It seems more obvious after reading that article that spatial cognition is necessary in the domain of navigation, but it is also important in other domain like planning and land management for example. Understanding how people orient themselves and acquire knowledge related to their position and objects in space is a step towards adapting the technology to suit different representation of space. I found the article very interesting but there is a lot more about spatial cognition than the variables that they studied. E.g.: visual variables (color, size,..) of the features on the map or in the environment; other senses (touch, smell,) that might affect memory, social characteristics might affect the learning experience, relations between elements that might be processed in different ways.


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