My family has been watching an excellent three-part broadcast on PBS called the Human Spark, where Alan Alda speaks with researchers and other scientists about the ‘nature of human uniqueness.’ In one segment Cognitive psychologist Elizabeth Spelke illustrates the ability of 2-year-olds to manipulate symbols and language to build spatial models of the real world, and how this is a specific example of a uniquely human ability. So chew on that all you non-homo erectuses!
Check this out…
In the experiment above, the green dot stays a green dot until legending language turns it into a spatial model for the real world. Neat stuff.
At IDV, a big part of what we do is to work with clients who have complicated business architectures that need to be visualized, often through thematic map symbology. There are so many visual dimensions of point representations to consider, but equally important is their appropriate naming and meaningful organization. Providing the language framework to bridge symbol to reality bridges the spatial model and drives insightful design.