Geographic Event Conceptualization: Where Spatial and Cognitive Sciences Meet


We present the results of two behavioral experiments on the conceptualization of geographic events (here, the movements of hurricanes). The focus is on juxtaposing two types of presentation: static versus animated trajectories. We designed 72 animated and 72 static icons of the same hurricane movements and asked participants to group them. Within each condition we distinguished paths of hurricanes using topological equivalence classes. Topology allows for differentiating ending relations that are potentially relevant for event conceptualization (Regier, 2007). Results show that motion matters. Participants constructed static icon groups more distinctly and focused more on ending relations. The presentation mode additionally influenced linguistic descriptions. These findings contribute to understanding and formalizing geographic event conceptualization.

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