The mental maps “the image of the city” in the teaching process of the discipline "urban geography"
The cartographic method retains its relevance for the study of complex geographic features that include cities. In the study and teaching of geographical disciplines, the active use of information technologies and GIS-based gaming technologies are becoming an urgent requirement of the information age. However, compiling maps using the “manual” method (including creating “mental maps” using pencil and paper) can be a no less, and in some cases, more efficient method of studying the territory. This paper presents the result of the pedagogical experience of studying the urban areas of Moscow and Kazan (Russia) using the compilation and analysis of mental maps by students of three Russian universities. It is shown that nowadays it is becoming increasingly important to obtain knowledge about how person perceives the city. The content of the maps was classified according to frequently referred to urban objects. This made it possible to identify those objects that for various reasons "fall out" from the urban space. It is shown how with the help of subjective perception may be studied the territorial structure of urbanized territories and evaluate the variants of created urban images. Geographic (and town planning), individual and pedagogical aspects of the use of the method of creating mental maps have been determined.