Spatial Intelligence

31 Jan

26 January 2010

Spatial Intelligence

Spatial intelligence is a term applied to the ability to conceptualize objects and their relationships in your mind. It is sometimes called visual thinking or visual intelligence. It is used to formulate decisions based on perceived obstacles. A hiker applies spatial intelligence when he uses a compass and visual awareness of his surroundings to determine his location on a map. Spatial intelligence also can be demonstrated in loading luggage into a vehicle. By visualizing how each piece or bag will occupy space, a person can identify the order and placement to maximize the available space.

However, the spatial, or visual, intelligence moves beyond just the physical traits. This can be an important skill for writers. Dr. Gerald Grow described that through metaphors “[w]e communicate new thoughts by linking the unknown to the known by means of spatial intelligence.” This was demonstrated last semester in our class when we used outlines, maps and drawings. The abstract mapping allowed us to view our writing subject from a different angle and to see how it related to other parts of our writing.

Search engine used for research: Clusty — Clusty is a metasearch engine that combines results from multiple sources including Yahoo!, Ask, Bing, and others. Vivísimo, a company founded by Carnegie Mellon University scientists, developed Clusty. An important feature of Clusty is its ability to cluster results based on subject; it compares this grouping to subfolders.


URL: by Gerald Grow, Ph.D., Professor of Journalism, Florida A&M University; accessed January 24, 2010.

URL: by Andy Carvin; accessed January 24, 2010.

URL: from Wily Walnut; accessed January 24, 2010.

URL:, “Connecting Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences Theories Through Learning Strategies: An Online Tutorial for Library Instruction” by May Ying Chau; accessed January 24, 2010.

URL: by David Fairley; accessed January 24, 2010.


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