How to memorize location-based information (like maps)?


Hi all,

I have built an interest in the mnemonics and used it to remember list of items (countries/capitals, tour de france winners, numbers of PI, some phone numbers, …).

In my professional live I work at TomTom (we build digital maps) and I actually gave a course about these mnemonic techniques to a group of engineers looking to learn new stuff in our office. However, when looking a bit more in the topic it seems it’s hard to find a good way to memorize a map. E.g., mnemonics are great to remember a list of countries, but I am looking to memorize the place of those countries on a map.

I even would want to pull it further: how to memorize any location-based information like:

  • Places on earth

  • Driving instructions

  • Positions of objects on an image

Hence, I am on a quest to find good techniques to memorize location-based information.
Any suggestions?

Kind regards,

(Josh Cohen) #2

Could you provide an example of “positions of objects on an image”?

You might be interested in these threads:


Awesome, I will for sure look into these other threads.

With location of objects on an image I mean for instance looking at a painting and remembering the composition in detail (the car is to the left from the house, a tree is behind the house, …). This is like a generalization of a map.

(Josh Cohen) #4

These threads might have some ideas:


Hi guys,

I started a test. I already knew the list of countries and their capitals of the world. For this I used an alphabetically ordered list per continent and used my Major system to memorize it…
Now I took a map with it and tried to remember the locations. (Used an app World Map Quizz)

Did this excercise in like an hour and I used different techniques for different places:

  • just by repetition (traditional way of learning)
  • by inventing a story of somebody traveling through different connected countries
  • by using a memory palace and each loci is a country
  • by using visual resemblence (e.g. the shape of the country looks like a boot kicking a ball as part of Italian soccer team…)
  • by linking names of neighbouring countries

I will now try to not think about these countries and their locations for a week and will see wich techniques allowed me to remember the longest.

Kind regards,