Cartographic Research of Mental Maps at Charles University in Prague

Journal / Conference: 25th International Cartographic Conference in Paris
Authors: Jan Hátle, Tomáš Hudeček, Martina Kynčlová, Kateřina Novotná, Tereza Pastuchová-Nováková, Michaela Šákrová
Year: 2011
Category of Publication: Contribution in Conference Proceedings
Pages, web:
Keywords: mental map, assessment of cartographic works, GIS, geography education
Link to full version:
Abstract: This contribution presents part of the findings of the project Mental Maps: Object and Tools for Assessment, which was realized in the years 2009–2011 at Charles University in Prague. The project was divided into several parts. In view of the scope of this contribution, only two parts of the research are presented here. In the first part, the authors test their method of assessing cartographic works with users’ mental maps, using the example of hiking maps. Users of hiking maps (161 respondents in all) were given several tasks and questions about individual evaluated maps. Then they were each asked to draw their own mental maps while answering questions, without having immediate access to the actual hiking map to which the questions pertained. In order to eliminate subjective problems with drawing mental maps (weak spatial memory, impaired drawing ability, inexperience with cartographic works, etc.) a large sample of map users were selected to participate and the contents of their individual mental maps were aggregated. In the end, we took from the relatively extensive sample of mental maps (483 in all) as many “aggregated mental maps” as there were evaluated hiking maps. These aggregated mental maps, together with conventional multi-criteria evaluation, contributed to the final analysis of hiking maps with a listing of positives and negatives of particular evaluated maps. The second part of this contribution presents the part of the project dedicated to cartographic representation of the development of students’ imagination of the spatial arrangement of the land in which they live. Designed as a case study, it addressed only four schools (two grammar schools and two secondary schools), and the pairs consisted of one in the capital city of Prague and one outside of Prague. This allowed us to follow the differences in mental maps according to the age of the respondents and according to school district. Besides observing the students’ ability to accurately draw the position of Prague, this part of the research also examined their spatial conception of the geography of the Czech Republic (basic spatial arrangement of geographic objects). Last but not least, in outlined maps the student participants filled in their own preferences of where to live (where I would like to live and where I would not like to live). The result of this part of the research consists of aggregated mental maps for each school (the geography of the Czech Republic and drawing the location of Prague) and aggregated maps of preferences. A selection of the mental maps that were produced can be found on the project’s website:
Project-Id-Version: <br />
Report-Msgid-Bugs-To: <br />
POT-Creation-Date: 2019-10-11 13:03+0200<br />
PO-Revision-Date: <br />
Last-Translator: Tomáš Linhart <><br />
Language-Team: <br />
MIME-Version: 1.0<br />
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8<br />
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit<br />
X-Generator: Poedit 1.5.5<br />
List of Publications