Cartography and Children

Children's Mental Thinking

4105.2 - Mental map and spatial thinking

Tuesday, July 4
8:50 AM - 9:10 AM
Location: Virginia C

The spatial thinking is a central concept in our researches at the Faculty of Education of University of São Paulo (FE-USP) because they are based on geographical concepts, spatial representations and skills of reasoning. This kind of thinking constitutes mobilization of thinking about space, for example, the links between the units of measurement, the different ways of calculating the distance (miles, travel time, travel costs), coordinate systems, the nature of space (two-dimensional and three-dimensional). By approaching these issues, we note the importance of this kind of thinking to geography and how much can be developed at school from the geographical concepts. It also involves the spatial representation, for example the relationship between the views (vertical, oblique and frontal), the effects of projections and principles of graphic design.
The cartography is fundamental to this kind of thinking, because it contributes to the development of the representation of space by children and by young as well as the understanding of geographic phenomena. The spatial representations are the drawings - mental maps, for example - maps, chart, aerial photos, satellite images, graphics and diagrams. To think spatially - including the contents and concepts geographical and their representations - also corresponds to reason, defined by the skills the individual develops to understand the structure, function of a space, and describe your organization and relation to other spaces. Therefore the ability to analyzing the order, the relationship and the pattern of spatial objects.
The purpose of this article is to discuss the role of mental maps in the development of concepts of city and landscape, structuring concepts for school geography. The aim of this paper is to analyze the role of mental maps in the development of concepts of city and landscape - structuring concepts for school geography. The purpose is to analyze how students in Geography - future teachers - think, feel, and appropriate these concepts.
The analysis indicates the importance of developing mental map in activities with geography graduate student to know that students at school can be producers of maps, maps about imaginary spaces or living space. In the classroom, at all educational levels, the mapping done by students allows the teacher to understand the spatial thinking and thinking about a given space and theme. Cartography is a language and allows the student to develop the spatial and temporal relationships and notions such as orientation, distance and location, learning the concepts of geographical science (landscape, territory and space). Mental maps present the basic features of the location such as the conditions - the features verified in one place - and the connections that is to understand how this place connects to other places.

Paula Cristiane Strina Juliasz

University of São Paulo

Graduated in Geography, specialization about Research in Cartography and Master in Geography, from the Universidade Estadual Paulista. Currently develops doctoral research at the Faculty of Education, University of São Paulo (FEUSP). Professor at University of São Paulo. She has experience in Geography, working mainly in School Cartography and Geography Teaching.


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Sonia Maria Vanzella. Castellar

University of São Paulo

Graduated in geography, Master in didactics and Ph.D. in physical geography from the University of São Paulo. Professor at Faculty of Education and Geography of University of São Paulo. Has experience in Geography, acting on the following subjects: school geography and school cartography. .


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José Jesús Reyes Nunez

Associate Professor
Eotvos Lorand University, Faculty of Informatics, Dept. of Cartography and Geoinformatics

José Jesús Reyes Nunez is Associate Professor at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary. His research interests lie in Cartography for Children, Geovisualization, GIS-based Cartography, Web Cartography and Pre-columbian Cartography. Author of more than 20 articles in scientific publications and more than 50 papers in different events. Responsible for the organization of the Barbara Petchenik Map Competition in Hungary from 1999 and President of the International Jury in 2005 and 2007. He was Chair of the ICA Commission on Cartography and Children from 2007 to 2015, currently Vice-Chair . ICA awarded him with the Diploma for Outstandings Services in 2015.


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4105.2 - Mental map and spatial thinking

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