Geometric cues

Geometry consists of: - Corners - Vectors to the edges of the room - Vectors to landmarks - The shape of the space or aspect ratio of the environment

These are more effective for us than solely visual cues, like color or pattern, but we can combine multiple kinds of cues for better orientation.


Burgess, Neil. “Spatial Memory: How Egocentric and Allocentric Combine.” Trends in Cognitive Sciences, vol. 10, no. 12, Dec. 2006, pp. 551–57.

Geometric cues (a corner) are stronger than visual cues (a blue wall) p. 2

Well-oriented rats combine geometry and visual features to locate objects p.5

Geometry may be more useful as scale increases. The number and consistency of cues is also important (we don’t use them if they’re inconsistent) p.5

Hartley, Tom, et al. “Geometric Determinants of Human Spatial Memory.” Cognition, vol. 94, no. 1, Nov. 2004, pp. 39–75.

geometry = corners, vectors to the edges of the room, space, landmarks; aspect ratio of the environment