Are You a Narrative or Spatial Navigator?

Jarett Walker finds out how many people can recognize north in the subway. The survey is used to explain the distinction between narrative and spatial navigation, which appear to be the two predominant forms of human navigation.

"Spatial navigators can construct maps in their heads as they experience a place, and also tend to be good at using maps as navigational aids." Walker opines "for spatial navigators, the answer to the question where? is a position in mapped space. For narrative navigators, the answer to where? is a story about how to get there." He believes that spatial navigation is an important tool for planners because it is "only with a spatial understanding of your city can you be attentive to certain of its possibilities and needs. Ideally, we'd get good training as children on how to develop both capabilities."

Full Story: Can You Find North Underground?

Comments

Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $209
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $50.
$369 includes free shipping!