Skill in map reading and memory for maps
K. Gilhooly, M. Wood, P. Kinnear, and C. Green 1988 Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 40(A), 87-107

This paper investigates the applicability of the maxim on expert memory to the case of topographic contour map reading. This study aims to clarify the role of map reading skill in map memory through two experiments. In the first experiment, students study a map for five minutes, take ten minutes to draw it from memory, then take ten minutes to answer multiple-choice questions about the map. They also have to rate the level of confidence they have in each answer. The experiment was repeated with the addition of process tracing where students thought aloud and pointed at the map. Results for both experiments show that skilled map readers have an advantage in memory for topographic contour maps but not for planimetric maps.

Subject: Psychology, Education
Resource Type: Scientific Resources:Overview/Reference Work, Journal Article
Special Interest: Spatial Thinking
Research on Learning: Geoscience Expertise, Spatial Intelligence:Maps, Spatial Representations Of Data , 3D