The near ubiquity of maps has created a population the is well adept at reading and understanding maps. But, while maps are familiar, understanding how the human brain processes that information is less known. Discussing the processing of geographic phenomena could take different avenues: specific geospatial thinking skills, general perception and cognition processes, or even different parts of the human brain that are invoked when thinking geographically. This entry focuses on tracing the processing of geographic phenomena using a choropleth map case study, beginning from perception — the moment the phenomena enter the human brain via our senses, to cognition — how meaning and understanding are generated.
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