Over the years a large literature dedicated to mental mapping has accumulated. Most of it can be found in geography, but as Sorin Matei's project demonstrates, this methodology can be successfully applied to cognate areas.
This page lists a limited number of mental mapping projects and papers which can assist those interested in this fascinating topic.
Sorin A Matei, 2003-2007
Visible Past proposes a cross platform, scalable environment (Exploratorium) for collaborative social, geographic, and historical education and research. The Exploratorium will be deployed in a variety of settings, from Web to fully immersive virtual reality environments. Educational activities can be formal (classroom teaching) or informal (conducted in a museum or self–directed online learning setting). The specific goals of the Exploratorium concept are two–fold: 1) to create a set of tools for collecting, organizing, or disseminating knowledge in a collaborative manner at various scales and in various formats; and, 2) to extend and refine a theoretical framework and methodological tools for prototyping and testing future research and learning applications and architectures that benefit from mental mapping and 3D and location aware applications. The heart of the Visible Past Exploratorium concept, the Exploratorium, is an information space built on top of a georeferenced wiki database that can be accessed through a variety of avenues: full immersion 3D environments, Web interfaces, or Geographic Exploration Systems (GES), such as Google Earth or NASA’s World Wind.
Matei, S. A., Miller, C. C., Arns, L., Rauh, N., Hartman, C., & Bruno, R. (2007). Visible Past: Learning and discovering in real and virtual space and time, First Monday (Vol. 12) .
Matei, S. A., Madsen, L., Bertoline, G., Arns, L., Ren, M., & Davidson, A. (2006, June). The cognitive impact of location-aware information systems. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, Dresden, Germany.
The project explores the Transylvanian urban landscape of memory. A representative sample of urban inhabitants of Braşov, Romania, is interviewed in depth to capture mental maps of fear and affective belonging in time and space. The study is especially interested in the intersection between space, time and power relationships across ethnic and political divides.
A mental map of urban comfort and fear in Braşov.
A kml file of the same area visible in Google Earth
Laszlo Lentnyei's Cognitive Mapping Research Site in Hungary
This is the project that has supported Sorin Matei's research. This is a multi-year study, conducted at Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, directed by Professor Sandra Ball-Rokeach.
Two representative papers resulted from the Metamorphosis project:
and misperception of Los Angeles urban space
Watts, the 1965 Los Angeles riots and the communicative construction of the fear epicenter of Los Angeles (presented at the American Sociological Association Annual Conference, Chicago, August, 2002)
Lexington Neighborhoods Project
This is a project directed by Sorin Matei in Lexington, Kentucky, which analyzes the way in which mental maps and communication channels interact.
Leeds University Mental Mapping
Mental Mapping Bibliography
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