Sunday, November 13, 2011

Geography Awareness Week 2011: Mental Mapping

This week is Geography Awareness Week!  The powers that be have declared this year's theme to be Geography in the Community.  In this spirit, I will be blogging about various geographical exercises one can do by themselves, with family, with friends, or with the community!

Today's post is a challenge to do mental mapping.  A mental map is one's personal view of how they envision their surroundings.  A mental map is not necessarily geographically correct but instead reflects what the thinker considers important and where the thinker envisions various locations to be at.

Either by yourself or with a group of friends map out your hometown.  If done with a group of friends be sure to do your own individual maps first.  Now examine your own map.  Consider what is the focus of the map, what's in the center, what is labelled, what elements are big and what barely appear, and even what may be missing.  Do the same with your friends' maps.  Now obtain a map of your hometown (try Google Maps) and compare the mental maps to the real map.  Consider how your (and your friends') understanding of the local geography differs from reality.  Discuss why this is.

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