Geography 222 The Power of Maps and GIS Geog 222 Main Page and Course Description Geog 222 Syllabus Geog 222 Course Schedule and Lecture Outlines Geog 222 Exercises

Geog 222 Lecture Outline: Mental Maps & PsychoGeographies
Update: 1/12/18

1. Mental Maps & PsychoGeographies

Learning the world around us starts when we are very young and continues throughout our lives

Cognitive mapping: gathering of environmental knowledge with all of our senses and direct experience of the environment

Initially things are understood from an egocentric perspective

Change from an egocentric to a geocentric understanding of environment

Why does this geocentric mental map develop?

As our experience of the environment grows we develop a set of locations in relation to our home and paths between those locations

What is important is that

We still use this basic process of mental mapping when in unfamiliar places

Our mental maps seldom stay simple

Our mental maps - whether inborn or culturally determined - is enhanced by the use of an established spatial frame of reference which we learn from and can use with other people

Mental maps are not like printed paper maps with accurate directions and distances

P. Muehrcke: "As adults our mental maps are a potpourri of fact and fiction, gleaned through a haphazard combination of direct and indirect, and extrasensory experience. Some aspects of it are egocentric and based on connected paths, while other bits are geocentric and based on Euclidean distance-direction relations. We have forgotten some things and seen others incorrectly. Our fears and prejudices and longings have biased our way of looking at the world. It is understandable that a combination of these factors may badly warp our image of the environment." p. 8

BUT...despite this mental maps often work just fine, no matter how warped they are

Geographical biases: what you know depends on where you live

Transcriptions of Mental Maps: Geocentric maps

Kevin Lynch Image of the City (1960): putting mental maps to work:

Lynch mental map elements

Some other applications of mental mapping... fear & emotion:

David Ley (1972): Fear & Stress in an Urban (Philadelphia) Neighborhood:

Christian Nold (2004-present)

2. Mapping PsychoGeographies

PsychoGeography: Guy Debord: "the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals."

PsychoGeography is...

3. Mapping PsychoGeographies

E-mail: Geog 222 Main Page and Course Description krygier teaching page. krygier top page.

OWU Home
OWU Geology and Geography Home