Learning positional information from maps

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Psychological processes involved in learning positional information from maps are investigated in three experiments. The first examines the temporal order of the processes. The second compares learning the position of features when the map is separated into component themes (categories of objects) with learning the position of map items when the map is divided spatially into sections. The third compares the effects of supplementary prosaic text as opposed to map copying as a learning aid. The results suggest that: (a) learning positional information from a map is a gradual process whereby local connections between map elements are learned first while knowledge of broader relationships is achieved later; (b) the learning of positional information is apparently lacilitated if the learner can observe how map units are simultaneously organized; “section-by-section” presentation is more effective than presentation of one category of item before adding the next, the latter being associated with difficulties in relating one category’s spatial organization to another; (c) propositional information in stories helps to organize and improve retention of positional information in memory.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)9-19
    Number of pages11
    JournalAmerican Cartographer
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - 1 Jan 1978

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Civil and Structural Engineering
    • General Environmental Science
    • General Engineering
    • General Earth and Planetary Sciences
    • Management of Technology and Innovation


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