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Spatial cognition is usually defined as a process involving the sensing, encoding, storing, internal manipulation, decoding, and representing and using of information about the environment that is stored in long-term memory. While the field of spatial cognition is very broad and merits an encyclopedia of its own, this entry introduces some concepts of the field and illustrates their relationship to geographic information systems (GIS) and geographic information science (GISci).

It is generally hypothesized that humans learn about environments by sensing and experiencing them and thus are capable of encoding and storing data in long-term memory, manipulating data to create information (usually in working memory), and decoding the result and externally representing the construed information in some form of spatial product (e.g., map, diagram, graph, speech, writing, ...

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