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.
June 24, 2010, 1pm PDT | George Haugh
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"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."

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Published on Friday, June 18, 2010 in Human Transit
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