Spatial cognition: it’s fun

These papers on spatial cognition introduced another complex, inter/multi-disciplinary field that is relevant and interesting for GIScientists, but not necessarily a sub-field of GIS or geography and requires considerable knowledge outside of the discipline. The papers point out some predictable things that humans do to better understand spatial information and our environments – like mentally shifting landmasses to align with canonical boundaries. I wonder if we (with our spatial training) are more or less likely to make these mistakes, and if we have different patterns in our spatial cognition. For example, do we “invert” Tobler’s law without realizing it (assuming that things which are similar must be closer together). I also wonder how these ideas of spatial cognition play a role in our development of spatial ontologies, such as how different cultures might have (general) differences in how they collect, store, and use spatial knowledge, or even what we consider spatial knowledge to be. And similarly, how do augmented reality and spatial cognition interplay – for example, as virtual and augmented reality become increasingly prevalent, will we increase our ability to derive spatial knowledge in these environments? Will “digital natives” have an edge for learning in these environments?

Looking forward to the presentation and discussion tomorrow!


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