Workshop on  Teaching Spatial Thinking from Interdisciplinary Perspectives (SPATIALTHINKING2015)

When: October 12, 2015
Where: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
Collocated with Conference on Spatial Information Theory XII (COSIT 2015)
Workshop URI:
Hashtag: #SpatialThinking2015
Submissions: via Easychair


We accepted the following five papers to be presented at the workshop:



Motivation and Objectives

  • The “Teaching Spatial Thinking from Interdisciplinary Perspectives” (SPATIALTHINKING2015)  workshop’s goals are to:
    1)  Assist educators in developing interdisciplinary courses on spatial thinking.
    2) Develop a repository of educational materials that educators could use to create interdisciplinary courses on spatial thinking.
  • Spatial thinking spans numerous disciplines and perspectives, so there is a need for courses to address spatial thinking from multiple perspectives. However, developing course material outside of one’s discipline can be particularly challenging, and these challenges can restrict the perspectives taught within a single course.
  • This workshop aims to assist educators with developing interdisciplinary courses on spatial thinking in the following ways:
    • Invited Talks: Invited speakers will present how spatial thinking is approached in each of their five disciplines: Mary Hegarty (Psychology), Diana Sinton (Geography/GIScience), Christian Freksa (Informatics), Hugo Spiers (Neuroscience), and Ruth Dalton (Architecture)
    • Lightning Talks: Workshop participants will provide their perspectives on teaching spatial thinking from their discipline’s perspective in 5-minute lightning talks. See call details below.
    • Group Discussions: Breakout and large group discussions will foster discussions between individuals with differing perspectives on spatial thinking. These discussions allow workshop attendees to learn more about discipline(s) that they are unfamiliar with and to share educational resources.
    • Online Resource Repository: Throughout the workshop, educational resources will be collected and developed into a repository of interdisciplinary educational materials. After the workshop, this repository will be made freely available online for educators to use in developing their own interdisciplinary spatial thinking courses.

Who should participate in the workshop?

SPATIALTHINKING2015 is relevant for 1) junior faculty or individuals, such as post-docs and graduate students, who might teach a course in spatial thinking in the near future and also for 2) for experienced faculty, who might already teach a course in spatial thinking, but who are interested in expanding the perspectives from which they teach their spatial thinking course(s).

Call for SPATIALTHINKING2015 Lightning Talk Presenters

  • Call: If you want to share your perspective on spatial thinking, by giving a lightning talk at this workshop, please submit a short paper (using EasyChair). Short papers should be a maximum of 4 pages in length and follow the Springer LNCS formatting style. Guidelines (including Word and Latex templates) for authors can be found at and submissions should be made to Note that papers not adhering to the style guidelines or the page limits will be rejected without review. Manuscripts will be reviewed by at least two members of the program committee. At least one author of each accepted paper must be present at the workshop to give the lightning talk. We plan to make the workshop proceedings available on our Educational Resource Repository, and publish the workshop proceedings with CEUR-WS.
  • Topics of Interest: Short papers, and their accompanying lightning talks, must focus on some aspect of teaching spatial thinking and provide resources for teaching an interdisciplinary spatial thinking course. Examples of topics include: educational resources/tools/recommendations, major spatial thinking topics, major spatial thinking findings, recommended readings, and/or future directions. The author(s) field(s) may include any discipline that deals with spatial thinking. Disciplines include, but are not limited to: Psychology, Geography, GIScience, Geoscience, Education, Informatics, Linguistics, Neuroscience, Architecture, and Art.

Important Dates

  • Short paper submissions: June 1st, 2015
  • Notification of acceptance: July 1st, 2015
  • Camera-ready versions: August 1st, 2015
  • Workshop day: October 12th, 2015


Submissions will be made via EasyChair:


Heather Burte, University of California, Santa Barbara
Tomi Kauppinen, Aalto University, Finland
Mary Hegarty, University of California, Santa Barbara

Programme Committee

Karl Grossner – Stanford University
Grant McKenzie – University of California, Santa Barbara
Jenni Reuter – Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture
Margaret Tarampi – University of California, Santa Barbara
Thora Tenbrink – Bangor University