recentpopularlog in


« earlier   
Oyster and National Rail
January 2nd 2010 was the day that Oyster became accepted on almost all National Rail services in Greater London, making cashless pay-as-you-go a reality London-wide.

This site has been set up to try and explain how the system works in an alternative fashion to the official TfL site.
travel  guide  oyster  cards  transport  underground  railway  tickets  maps  london 
9 hours ago by asaltydog
The disorientated ape: Why clever people can be terrible navigators | New Scientist
Experience tells us that some people are much better at these things than others, and science backs this up. Some of the most enlightening research has been done at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). In a classic study published in 2005, Toru Ishikawa and Dan Montello of UCSB drove individual university students along a few routes in a residential neighbourhood they didn’t know with lots of hills and winding roads. Then they probed the students’ spatial understanding of the area. For example, standing at one landmark, students had to point in the direction of another one that they couldn’t see, or sketch a map of the neighbourhood.

“This research addresses the stereotype of men as better navigators than women”
There were marked differences in the performances of the 24 people tested. Some of them improved gradually over the 10 weekly sessions, but most either “got it” within a single session, or simply never did.

Further work has revealed that we seem to have reasonable insight into our own ability to make it home. That has been shown by the Santa Barbara Sense-of-Direction Scale, developed at UCSB’s Spatial Thinking Lab by Mary Hegarty and her colleagues. It asks people to indicate how much they agree or disagree with statements such as, “I am very good at giving directions”, “I have a poor memory for where I left things” and “I very easily get lost in a new city”. People’s scores on this scale correlate pretty well with how they actually perform in tests of navigation. However, their performances on these tasks don’t correlate with scores on intelligence tests. Sometimes they don’t even correlate with other kinds of spatial ability, such as mental rotation tasks, says Hegarty.

If our sense of direction is unrelated to general intelligence, what does explain the chasm between individuals? One way to get at this is to consider the two main approaches we use to navigate. Route-based navigation entails remembering landmarks on a particular journey: turn left at the church and then right at the park, and so on. It works pretty well in familiar towns or on regular journeys, but it is inflexible. What do you do if roadworks force you to take another route?

Then there is mental mapping, which involves creating – either consciously or unconsciously – a mental map of your environment, akin to an app map. This approach is sometimes considered superior because it is more flexible and allows you to take shortcuts where appropriate. However, it is also more cognitively demanding.

“Super-navigators such as migratory birds can sense Earth’s magnetic field”
Most of us use both tactics, but the trick is to get the balance right. Good navigators probably select the best strategy for the job automatically, says Hegarty. And this is where we can say something about the loaded question of whether men are better with directions than women.

There have been many studies, using a variety of tests of navigation, to probe this. Sometimes men and women perform equally well. However, in tests where men outperform women there are hints that this may be down to a preference among men for using mental mapping, compared with a preference among women for using route-based navigation.

In new research, for example, Hegarty and others put 140 UCSB students in a virtual reality maze with high concrete walls. The maze contained 12 objects, including a chair and a duck, placed at various junctions. After being taught a route through the maze, the volunteers were started off at one object and asked to navigate to another. Sometimes the learned route was the shortest path and at other times it was quicker to take a novel route. The researchers found that women were more likely to follow learned routes and to wander. Men showed a greater preference for trying to work out shortcuts, which calls for mental mapping. On average, males were faster and covered less ground in reaching their target.

Previous studies have also found that women are less likely than men to explore shortcuts. Why might that be? Sarah Creem-Regehr at the University of Utah has an idea. Her research shows that when navigating an unfamiliar virtual environment, women have a more cautious approach and tend to return more often to places they have already visited than men do. She suggests that in ancestral times, a woman who got lost would have been more vulnerable than a man. Her potential gain from taking a shortcut would arguably have been lower than a man’s, given the relatively higher risk to her life if she encountered an unexpected threat such as a predator’s den. It isn’t faster, but “it is safer to return to places you’ve already visited”, says Creem-Regehr.
maps  psychology 
13 hours ago by cnk
Esri Story Maps Resources - Tips, Training and Community
Learn the fundamentals of storytelling with maps using ESRI Story Maps.
storymap  esri  maps  resources  directions  tips  training 
15 hours ago by timstahmer
The True Size Of ...
Drag and drop countries around the map to compare their relative size. Is Greenland really as big as all of Africa? You may be surprised at what you find! A great tool for educators.
geospatial  map  maps  geography 
20 hours ago by skinna123

Copy this bookmark:

to read