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Distortion of area in the global-scale cognitive map : a geographic perspective.

Author: Sarah Elizabeth Battersby; University of California, Santa Barbara.
Publisher: [Santa Barbara, Calif.] : University of California, Santa Barbara, 2006.
Dissertation: Ph. D. University of California, Santa Barbara 2006
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Document : Thesis/dissertation : eBook   Computer File : English
Summary:
Acquisition and conceptualization of spatial knowledge is an important topic in human spatial cognition. Research in the area is focused by scale, with a majority of the research being on mental representations of relatively small geographic areas (e.g., a neighborhood or floor in a building). A smaller body of research belongs to the area of global-scale spatial cognition. When studying spatial cognition, one way
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Details

Genre/Form: Online resources
Dissertations, Academic
Material Type: Document, Thesis/dissertation, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Sarah Elizabeth Battersby; University of California, Santa Barbara.
ISBN: 9780542794735 054279473X
OCLC Number: 759566546
Notes: Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 67-07, Section: A, page: 2696.
Advisers: Reginald G. Golledge; Daniel R. Montello.
Description: ix, 209 leaves

Abstract:

Acquisition and conceptualization of spatial knowledge is an important topic in human spatial cognition. Research in the area is focused by scale, with a majority of the research being on mental representations of relatively small geographic areas (e.g., a neighborhood or floor in a building). A smaller body of research belongs to the area of global-scale spatial cognition. When studying spatial cognition, one way in which work on smaller scale spaces is different than that done with large-scale space is that the data for small-scale spaces can be acquired from a variety of different sources--e.g., maps, verbal descriptions, or wayfinding--whereas globalscale data are acquired primarily from one source, maps. While it may seem a benefit to have a reduced number of sources from which data can be acquired, there is a problem specific to very-large scale geographic spaces--distortion of shape, area, distance, scale, and direction due to map projection. Several studies have been done.

To examine distortions in mental representations of global-scale space, however these studies have neglected to examine the potential role of map projection, the natural distortion in the stimuli from which a subject's cognitive map is based. The goals of this dissertation are to search for an identifiable "cognitive map projection," examine the effect of projection on measuring map properties, and to compare accuracy of different methods of measuring externalizations of global-scale cognitive maps. Effects of projection on cognitive maps can be examined using two general methods, graphic and non-graphic. To do this, a series of studies have been completed: estimation of area for regions around the world from memory, perceptually (participants were permitted to use one of three different representations of the world (map or globe) when estimating areas), and using a graphical scaling method. Additionally, an assessment of map projection knowledge was completed. Results from the studie.

S indicate that the effect of map projections on global-scale spatial cognition is relatively minimal, possibly due to the simple fact that knowledge of map projections and the distortion inherent in them is minimal. On the other hand, the effect of standard psychophysical estimation errors is very apparent.

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