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There is some problem for me to memorize geography maps. It involves actually two tasks:
1) To look quickly on the map and to keep in the head approximate image of picture. (for orienteering)
2) To remember a geographical area for navigating - streets and their map, or topography maps for hiking.
I know and use various mnemonic technics, but I don't know how to rememeber images (that are maps actually)
Do you know any technics that can help me?

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2 Answers 2

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Remembering something becomes a whole lot easier as soon as it carries a meaning to you, or you associate something with it. This even works for nonsense associations. (Which is actually used in a few mnemotic techniques).

I'd try a two-tier approach:

  • try to identify those parts of the map you can relate to and reinforce them. (You can use Street View + Satelite View + Map view to get a better grasp of a place). This should help with your second task, but familiarizing yourself with an area that way is not a fast process.
  • For those areas which you're content at identifying on a map, try to find a mnemonic approach: Overlay the map with drawings/doodles outlining features and their geographic relation to each other, similar to how you might interpret Sierpinski images. This would be very much like the association of images on star-charts. Ease of recognition varies as soon as another map is used (Some maps put their visual emphasis on roads and tend to blend rivers into the background, some give a good representation of elevation, etc. Map reading is an aquired art, and every publisher has his own language to a certain extent.)
  • Incorporate meta knowledge - Maps depict the history of settlement in that area, and some regions have very distinctive settling patterns due to a comination of geographic, ethnic or legislative regulations as well as borders - both historic and current. Identifying these patterns will make a region easy to distinguish from many images of similar regions.
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Anki spaced repetition flash cards are ideal. Take the image of the map and open it in your favorite image editor. Remove the labels.

If you want to remember countries, put a question mark on one country and then make a card for that country in Anki. On the card I would put the image and the text "country.name".

Depending on the case you might also still leave the labels of the neighboring countries.

The second is to train yourself to navigate maps. Practice works ;)

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By memorizing maps I mean ability to recover quickly and to draw the memorized map :) Not only guess "It's German!". And I need to know the map before navigate it, it's exactly the point. –  DominiCane Jan 29 at 8:53

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