Fostering Shared Spatial Understandings

A look at how we understand space … the maps in our heads.

Maj Mathieu Primeau, MSc, MMAS(History), MMAS(Op Art), BEng, rmc, CD.

Most if not all ideas have a spatial component. For example, rum is most often seen as Caribbean, sports have famed locales (hockey is Canadian of course), and Elvis Presley was (or maybe still “is”) American. Socially, slavery links Africa to America, Apartheid is South African, and Fascism Italian (or German, or Spanish…). Religions too have spatially defined origins and territories (think of the Temple Mount or the Cave of the Patriarchs), with all the social upheavals that emerge when contested. Even commercial deals have a spatial component, since they consider access to markets (distance), implying the recognition of where the market is in the first place. Therefore, to merely think implies being a mapmaker, at least cognitively and/or metaphysically, and this is true without the need to actually produce any physical representation of a spatial understanding. In other words, we constantly make maps in our head, regardless of whether we write them down anywhere. My research, which is part of my duties at the Mapping and Charting Establishment, aims at improving the value of our maps, even those in our brain, making them meaningful in the context of military operations.   (continued in the file below)

Fostering Shared Spatial Understandings

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