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"Say what you see": preliminary observations on the role of spatial cognitive mapping in retail locational planning

Byrom, John (2001) "Say what you see": preliminary observations on the role of spatial cognitive mapping in retail locational planning. UNSPECIFIED. Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

It has become apparent in recent years that the planning and management of location has become increasingly important to outlet-based retail and service organisations. Clearly, the subjective, 'lived' experiences of locational decision-makers impinge greatly on the locational decision and cannot be wholly supplanted by a computer. This paper seeks to explore how locational decision-makers visualise potential retail locations through a preliminary discussion of the role of spatial cognition and cognitive mapping. Spatial cognition, an established sub-field of both environmental psychology and behavioural geography, refers to how individuals internally reflect and (re)construct space and shape such information in the form of the cognitive map. The researcher can subsequently glean the nature of the cognitive map through the medium of the self-drawn sketch map. In a spatially-dependent field such as locational decision-making, it can be assumed that differences in locational planners' spatial cognitive abilities may have a significant impact on the subsequent choice of where to locate. Here, literature pertaining to spatial cognition and cognitive mapping is discussed, prior to discussion of appropriate methods for capturing the internal representations of locational actors in this particular research context.

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