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Figure 12.5 Construction of a cognitive map. © Projet Iparla, LaBRI-Inria
12.3.2 Theoretical foundations Cognitive map
Wayfinding is strongly related to the construction of a cognitive map. A cognitive map
corresponds to a mental structure used for acquiring, saving and decoding information
on a spatial environment (Kitchin, 1994).
A cognitive map, or spatial knowledge, is constructed mainly around the following
three elements (Thorndyke & Hayes-Roth, 1982):
knowledge of landmarks;
procedural knowledge;
topological knowledge.
These three types of knowledge are illustrated in figure 12.5.
The knowledge of landmarks corresponds to the identification of elements that
are characteristic of an environment. Landmarks are elements that stand out from the
rest. For example, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Seine or the Louvre are key elements
that will make it possible for visitors find their way.
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