G. Wan, J. Gao, W. Dong, Y. Liu

Zhengzhou Institute of Surveying and Mapping, P. R. China


Cartographists are striving to seek an answer to what is the essence of map. During such process, the concept that map is a spatial cognitive tool of human beings has been concluded and the basic theory system of cartology which is based on the theory of map space cognition has formed. In this paper, authors attempt to eliminate the subjective influence to the least and conclude some rules of cognitive map by analyzing the subjects sketch maps statistically.

Fig.1 shows the process of map space cognition. The elements of cognitive map include basic elements and supplementary elements.

The main work of this paper is to implement 4 types of cognitive experiments that make the subjects form cognitive maps through reading 2D paper maps, or 2D electronic maps, or images of remote sensing or virtual geographic environment. The purpose of these experiments is to conclude some rules by analyzing the subjects sketch maps and to improve the theory of the cognitive map formation based on personal experience. For example, the reading habit of large-scale data is different from the one of small-scale data; the reading-based cognitive map formation is from whole to parts and is different from the one based on personal experience; it is an important part for electronic map to deal with the relationship between the part and the whole; the reading-based cognitive sketch map is a kind of spatial sketch map that is mainly directed by orientation; the existence of supplementary elements is improved; the condition of experiment exerts greatly and the background knowledge is critical too; and the use of the images of remote sensing should be companied with professional help.

The subjects are seniors of Zhengzhou Surveying and Mapping Institute.