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A virtual environment is a simulated computational model designed to promote interaction with the human cognitive level. As an environment created by man, it can have objects representing real or abstract entities that have a simulated physical representation. By definition, this representation expands the limited notion portrayed by visualization, as it includes all the human senses and not only vision, as with traditional visualization techniques.

The creation of cognitive maps—mental representations of the environment layout—can be best ensured by a map representation. The map can be seen as a metaphor for the spatial knowledge of the environment. Virtual environments introduce a nointerface metaphor, as they eliminate the mediation between the interaction and the spatial representation. With this approach, the virtual map is the interface through which ...

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