CARTOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS OF GENERAL GEOGRAPHIC ELEMENTS IN CHILDREN MENTAL MAPS.

Gurjanovaite K., Beconyte G.

Geography. Scientific Journal. 2007. Vol. 43 (1)

Kristina_Gurjanovaite@yahoo.com

The paper discusses the results of the analysis of submissions sent for the International B.Petchenik Childrens Map Competition in Lithuania in 2005. The research was initiated after noticing that the most of submissions could be analyzed as mental maps that reflect childrens cognition and evaluation of geographical environment as well as their cartographic knowledge not only what has been learned at school, but also relationships between elements of geographical environment, which have been intuitively understood. The drawings show a reduced and generalized model of surrounding environment, where individual symbols are used. So they could be considered mental maps. Mental maps were defined as individual systems of spatial references, which have no material form. Still there is no universally accepted methodology of their visualization and research. The authors of the paper have compared the childrens drawings with traditional maps looking for cartographic elements, which were identified and classified according to relation to ordinary map elements. Such method allows to measure cartographic knowledge and intuitive cartographic thinking, which reflects in drawings, where mental maps were graphically conveyed by the authors. Described research is a part of a broader investigation, which aims to evaluate the importance of children mental maps research, to find out and describe their peculiarities and to create a methodology of geographic analysis for such works. It is expected that the results of this research will help to form methodology for development of cartographical perception for children.

 

References 12. Figs 5. Tables 3. Lithuanian, summary in English.

Keywords: cartography, mental map, children, geographic information, mental space, maps