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Interpreting urban space through cognitive map sketching and sequence analysis

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Abstract:

Traditionally, analysis of sketch maps of urban areas has focused on the interpretation of hand‐drawn renditions of features that are most familiar to individuals. Few researchers have investigated the sequence that sketchers use to identify features on the urban landscape and how these features are linked together to form a coherent ‘picture’ of an area. This article builds upon previous research by exploring the sequential pattern of sketch map creation. Two research questions are proposed, namely, can a repetitive sequential order in element inclusion be identified for different individuals sketching the same urban environment? If so what features are mapped in which order to create the sketchers' image of the city? Findings suggest that three distinct groups of cognitive maps exist, namely, sequential, spatial and hybrid, and that the map elements of each group are organised in a distinctive manner with paths and landmarks as principal elements. It is suggested that insights into this process provide more substance to understanding how individuals interpret and structure urban space and use this information to navigate both known and new environments.

Language: English

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1541-0064.2008.00210.x

Affiliations: )

Publication date: 2008-06-01

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