Analyzing cognitive conceptualizations using interactive visual environments

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13 Scopus citations


The conceptualization of spatio-temporal information is an interdisciplinary research area. The focus of this article is on human conceptualizations of spatio-temporal geographic phenomena (also referred to as events). Identifying and understanding human conceptualizations is a crucial component in defining the semantics of spatio-temporal information. However, most research focuses primarily on how humans imbue dynamic phenomena with meaning on a general level. In contrast, this article is concerned with contextual factors (specifically: individual differences) that are too often neglected in general theories and in the analysis of behavioral data. In other words, we are interested in individual or group strategies of participants that are not detected by classical analysis methods. Research on individual difference is gaining widespread attention in cognitive and spatial sciences and it is time to consider individual differences in the area of conceptualizing spatio-temporal information. To understand individual differences in behavioral data on how people conceptualize events, we have developed illustrative software and have combined them with established similarity measures. We demonstrate the feasibility of our approach, its usefulness in analyzing behavioral data, and results that can be obtained through this individualized analysis by reanalyzing four sets of experimental data we previously collected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-68
Number of pages17
JournalCartography and Geographic Information Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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