Spatial Representation of Environmental and Geographical Space in Different Perspectives


This experiment investigates the impact of scale and perspective on spatial representations. Seventy summer school participants indicated the spatial relationship between the conference center and a nearby lake (map A) as well as their hometown (map B). They marked the target both on partial maps in birds-eye perspective or on a tilted plane (oblique perspective). After completing both maps, participants added an arrow pointing north to their drawings. Most type B maps were oriented north-up, but orientation varied widely in type A maps. Our findings suggest that most participants remembered a topographic map for depicting the large-scale space, no matter in which perspective the map was drawn. For depicting the relationship of a close location (i.e., the lake), most participants seem to rely on embodied strategies or a strategy based on route knowledge.

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