The perception and delimitation of Central Europe in the mental maps of individuals from selected European countries

Journal / Conference: Central European Conference of Historical Geographers (08-09/2016)
Authors: Jan D. Bláha, Aleš Nováček
Year: 2016
Category of Publication: Contribution in Conference Proceedings
Pages, web: pouze abstrakt / only abstract
Keywords: Central Europe, spatial perception, mental maps, spatial concepts, GIS analysis
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Abstract: The paper deals with the issue of perception and delimitation of Central Europe (CE). The first part introduces and discusses basic concepts and conception of CE which might be found in the selected parts and might be considered crucial in this respect. Attention is then focused on the possible differences in the perception of CE from the perspective of individual nations and to interpret what might cause these differences. The following empiric part of the study compares previous theoretical knowledge and assumptions of real results of the research. The research was carried out through a questionnaire survey to collect the mental maps of selected individuals. The respondents of the research were senior high school students and first-year university students from eight CE countries. Their task was to mark the borders of CE based on their subjective perception onto the European map. A total of 490 mental maps were taken, analyzed, and aggregated into the GIS map outputs. The final part compares and interprets the results, i.e. map outputs which were obtained through this probe of individual countries. The authors reflect on the questions of how and why the results differ in individual states and to what extent they match hypothetical assumptions of the “national” perception of CE space.
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