PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2017, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (9): 1051-1057.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2017.09.001

• Special Issue: Urban Cultural Sensing and Computing • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A humanistic geographical analysis of city space: A study of three maps in Beijing's Context

Shangyi ZHOU1(), Weilin XU1, Jianping LI2   

  1. 1. School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
    2. Beijing Planning Office of Philosophy and Social Science, Beijing 100101, China
  • Online:2017-09-27 Published:2017-09-27
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41771148;Collaborative Innovation Center for Geopolitical Setting of Southwest China and Borderland Development


Humanistic geography is an epistemology of geography. It is characterized by its focus on self-ward thinking, affection, and consciousness. Existing studies of humanistic geography mainly discussed subjectivity of place. This study attempts to explore the humanistic features in the spiral of consciousness increment between subjects and objects. It is also a response to the opinion of Martin Heidegger-language and human are not binary oppositions. This article takes three maps in the book of Beijing's Context as examples. It compares the map illustration of the author and readers and analyzes the humanity improvement in the perceptions of Beijing's city space. The conclusions are as follows. First, the spatial cognitive process of the map drawer and readers were being conscious of the space meaning than perceiving them. Second, both the map drawer and the map readers have undergone a cognitive cycle, which is from text to text-based perception, then to thinking beyond text. This process is considered an indispensable way to improve humanity. Practically, the implication of this study is that planners should be clear about what show the progress of humanity in an updated urban planning.

Key words: humanistic geography, city of Beijing, spatial perception/cognition