What are some of your thoughts on the subject, “ Cognitive or Mental mapping”? I know most of you are familiar with is. This idea is when an individual composes in their head a “mental” map of their familiar environment. It’s their own perception of the city or urban environment. A collection of routine life such as work, school, shopping, church, entertainment, relatives homes, neighborhoods (familiar or not), roads, highways, government institution , etc. that help form one’s perception of their “idea” of the city surrounding them.
Cognitive mapping is not like actual physical maps as they are not usually precise and correct. A person’s cognitive map will not be to scale, have direction correct and often leave out massive amounts of physical or important features of an given urban area.
This cognitive mapping is also based on one’s daily observation and the daily travels of the person in question. Their own mobility often dictates their overall perception of the city. Their socioeconomic status and crime issues are also a major factor. A poor inner city person with very limited means of transportation and that may be unemployed will surely have a different view of the overall city than a upper middle class person in the suburbs, who may travel larger area’s of the city due to a number of factors. Let be noted that both may have little or no known perception of their other’s “neighborhood”.
A lot of people when asked to draw a detailed “map” of their city will do so based on these idea’s. They often draw in detail or relative detail the places and things they are most familiar with.
I know you all know someone when asked or forced to defiant from their daily route they become “lost”, lose all sense of direction and basically panic. They have no “real” perception of the city and are only using their “Cognitive or Mental map”! What do you have to say about this subject?