Mental maps compared to actual spatial behavior using GPS data: A new method for investigating segregation in cities

Malka Greenberg Raanan, Noam Shoval*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article examines the relationship between perceived territorial boundaries and actual spatial activity. The methodology used includes a combination of mental maps and interviews for examining perceptions of territorial boundaries, with tracking technology (GPS) and activity diaries to track the actual use of space. This methodology was implemented in a pilot study with a sample of 18 women living in Jerusalem, including secular Jews, ultra-orthodox Jews, and Palestinian Muslims.The study found a very strong relationship between perceived personal territory and actual spatial activity. However, while the secular Jewish women appeared to be completely segregated within their territory, the ultra-orthodox Jewish women and the Palestinian Muslim women were both very active within the secular Jewish territory, but avoided each other's territories. The analysis of mental maps and actual spatial patterns of residential daily activities challenges prevailing notions about the spatial structure of Jerusalem and the internal power relations between the populations that inhabit it. More generally, it provides a new methodological approach for investigating segregation in cities.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)28-40
Number of pages13
JournalCities
Volume36
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2014

Keywords

  • Global Positioning Systems (GPS)
  • Jerusalem
  • Mental maps
  • Segregation
  • Spatial activity

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