Sandbox Geography — To learn from children the form of spatial concepts

  • Florian A. Twaroch
  • Andrew U. Frank


The theory theory claims that children’s acquisition of knowledge is based on forming and revising theories, similar to what scientists do (Gopnik and Meltzoff 2002). Recent findings in developmental psychology provide evidence for this hypothesis.

Children have concepts about space that differ from those of adults. During development these concepts undergo revisions.

This paper proposes the formalization of children’s theories of space in order to reach a better understanding on how to structure spatial knowledge. Formal models can help to make the structure of spatial knowledge more comprehensible and may give insights in how to build GIS. Selected examples for object appearances are modeled using an algebra. An Algebra Based Agent is presented and coded in a functional programming language as a simple computational model.


Theory Theory Geographic Information System Object Permanence Core Knowledge Hide Object 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Florian A. Twaroch
    • 1
  • Andrew U. Frank
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Geoinformation and CartographyTU ViennaVienna

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