Multidimensional Mapping and Spatial Communication Through the Virtual Umwelt

Reference work entry


People live in a multidimensional, sensuous, and spatially complex world. Cartographic mapping and geographic information systems (GIS) have striven to capture, record, and communicate the spatial components of this lived world through representations of spatial data primarily in the form of 2D map products. Such images have significant implications for representing and communicating spatial knowledge. Recent technological advances in GIS, 3D mapping, stereo-enabled virtual immersion, scenting and tactile devices, and serious gaming engines now enable powerful multisensory spatial platforms to be created. These interactive virtual platforms immerse the user in a sensuous 3D environment capable of recreating elements of the lived world – the Umwelt. Additional geosensory inputs contribute substantially to enhancing and experiencing a greater sense of space and place than possible through a visucentric focus on 2D maps. These experiential GIS environments enable the spatial analytic aspects of space to be communicated within a collaborative setting alongside the cognitive, experienced, emotional, and associative qualities of place.


Maps Deep mapping Virtual Umwelt (lifeworld) Virtual reality Geosensory Immersive geography CAVE Multidimensional mapping 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geology and GeographyWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA

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