Towards cognitively plausible spatial representations for sketch map alignment

M. Chipofya*, Jia Wang, Angela Schwering

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Over the past years user-generated content has gained increasing importance in the area of geographic information science. Private citizens collect environmental data of their neighborhoods and publish it on the web. The wide success of volunteered geographic information relies on the simplicity of such systems. We propose to use sketch maps as a visual user interface, because sketch maps are intuitive, easy to produce for humans and commonly used in human-to-human communication. Sketch maps reflect users' spatial knowledge that is based on observations rather than on measurements. However, sketch maps, often considered as externalizations of cognitive maps, are distorted, schematized, incomplete, and generalized. Processing spatial information from sketch maps must therefore account for these cognitive aspects. In this paper, we suggest a set of qualitative spatial aspects that should be captured in representations of sketch maps and give empirical evidence that these spatial aspects are robust against typical schematizations and distortions in human spatial knowledge. We propose several existing qualitative spatial calculi to formally represent the spatial aspects, suggest appropriate methods for applying them, and evaluate the proposed representations for alignment of sketch maps and metric maps.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpatial Information Theory - 10th International Conference, COSIT 2011, Proceedings
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-642-23196-4
ISBN (Print)9783642231957
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event10th International Conference on Spatial Information Theory, COSIT 2011 - Belfast, ME, United States
Duration: 12 Sep 201116 Sep 2011

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume6899 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference10th International Conference on Spatial Information Theory, COSIT 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBelfast, ME


  • cognitive qualitative representation
  • qualitative spatial reasoning
  • sketch alignment
  • sketch map
  • ITC-CV


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