Spatial Concept Perspectives

We have gathered ~300 excerpts from published works about fundamental spatial concept terms. These have been cross-referenced with the concept lexicon appearing on the left. Those terms were drawn from the U.S.National Science Education Standards (NSES 1996) for topic areas B – Physical Science, C – Life Science, D – Earth and Space Science, as well as from the 1994 U.S. Geography Teaching Standards for grades 9-12. Those standards can be browsed here.

spatial structuresspatial propertiesspace-time contextpositionspatial dynamicsspatial relationsspatial interactionspatial transformationsrepresentationspatial principles

Browsing Disciplinary Definitions and Perspectives on Spatial Concepts

Select a concept category from the left-most column, then a concept term within it.


This lexicon is intended to include general terms that have meaning from multiple disciplinary perspectives. Are terms missing, or included when they shouldn’t be? Are these the “right” categories? Are they complete? Your thoughts on these questions are most welcome!.

You can (a) submit a “concept perspective” that will appear in our concept browser and/or (b) email the editors with comments about the content and organization of this lexicon.

We need the input of expert practitioners and theorists, and welcome your comments, suggestions and critiques.