Waller, D., & Haun, D. B. M. (2003). Scaling techniques for modeling directional knowledge. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers,35(2), 285-293.
A common way for researchers to model or graphically portray spatial knowledge of a large environment is by applying multidimensional scaling (MDS) to a set of pairwise distance estimations. We introduce two MDS-like techniques that incorporate people’s knowledge of directions instead of (or in addition to) their knowledge of distances. Maps of a familiar environment derived from these procedures were more accurate and were rated by participants as being more accurate than those derived from nonmetric MDS. By incorporating people’s relatively accurate knowledge of directions, these methods offer spatial cognition researchers and behavioral geographers a sharper analytical tool than MDS for studying cognitive maps.