CARTOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS OF GENERAL
GEOGRAPHIC ELEMENTS IN CHILDREN MENTAL MAPS.
K., Beconyte G.
Geography. Scientific Journal. 2007. Vol. 43 (1)
The paper discusses the results of
the analysis of submissions sent for the International B.Petchenik
Children’s 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 children’s 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 children’s 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