Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2013, Vol. 68 ›› Issue (10): 1401-1410.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201310009

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Spatial syntactic analysis of cognitive maps

LU Zheng   

  1. College of Resources and Environmental Science, Hunan Normal University, Changsha 410012, China
  • Received:2012-07-26 Revised:2013-06-07 Online:2013-10-20 Published:2013-10-20
  • Supported by:
    Ministry of Education Humanities and Social Science Foundation of China, No.10YJA760017

Abstract: The topic on the externalization of spatial images of consciousness into the measurable objects is always valued by behavioral science, geography, tourism and other related disciplines. Starting with the structure of spatial images, this paper compares two important methods of this field: the cognitive map and the space syntax. The intention of comparison is to find the relevance between these two methods in the field of structural spatial cognition. This paper firstly gives a brief introduction of spatial diagram of syntactic formula, and compares the two results that are respectively derived from syntactic integration values and imaginable indexes of cognitive sketch-maps. Through the analysis of the correlation between the integration values of real map and the elements' imaginable indexes (e.g. frequency of road occurrence, degree of road accuracy) in 579 sketch maps on the Taiping Historical Block of the Changsha City, a better correlation coefficient has been found between integration value and frequency of occurrence. Then, it redraws 579 axial-line maps based on original sketch maps, finds corresponding road index in real map, and compares the syntactic integration values with the average values of syntactic integration in 579 sketch maps. Therefore, a relatively good correlation coefficient is presented between the above two comparisons. Meanwhile, a significant correlation is also formed between integration values of real map and the imaginable indexes such as nodes or landmarks in sketch maps. The above conclusions show that the spatial configuration has a great influence on the image configuration of human mind. And the spatial syntactic analysis of cognitive maps could be valuable to reveal the mechanisms of how people can achieve the image knowledge of spatial configuration. Furthermore, the conclusions imply the possibility of the combination of the space syntax and the cognitive map.

Key words: space syntax, spatial cognition, configurational image, cognitive maps