Academic Profile – Vanessa Joy Anacta

Vanessa Joy Anacta

Assistant Professor


Ph.D. in Institute for Geoinformatics, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität (University of  Muenster)

Specialization: Cognitive and Behavioral Geography, Geospatial Technologies, Hazards and Vulnerability Research

Research Interests: Wayfinding, Spatial Cognition, Disaster Science, Participatory GIS

Courses Taught: 

  • Geog 1 (Places and Landscapes in a Changing World)
  • Geog 151 (Geography of Europe)
  • Geog 197 (Digital Cartography)
  • Geog 192 (Field Methods)
  • Geog 243 (GIS in the Social Sciences)


Journal Papers

  • Anacta, VJA. (2020). Learning Unfamiliar Routes with Relative and Absolute Instructions: Analyzing Human Wayfinding Performance and Sketch Maps, Journal of Geography, 119:6, 226-237, DOI: 10.1080/00221341.2020.1821242
  • Krukar, J, Anacta, VJ, Schwering, A. (2020). The effect of orientation instructions on the recall and reuse of route and survey elements in wayfinding descriptions, Journal of Environmental Psychology, Volume 68, 101407, ISSN 0272-4944,
  • Anacta, VJA,  Schwering, A., Li, R and Muenzer, S. 2017. Orientation information in wayfinding instructions: Evidences from human verbal and visual instructions. GeoJournal. 82:3, 567-583. DOI: 10.1007/s10708-016-9703-5
  • Schwering, A. Krukar, J. Li,R. Anacta, VJA, Fuest, S. 2017. Wayfinding Through Orientation. Spatial Cognition and Computation. 273-303.

Conference and Workshop Papers

  • Anacta V.J.A., Li R., Löwen H., De Lima Galvao M., Schwering A. (2018) Spatial Distribution of Local Landmarks in Route-Based Sketch Maps. In: Creem-Regehr S., Schöning J., Klippel A. (eds) Spatial Cognition XI. Spatial Cognition 2018. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 11034. Springer, Cham.
  • Krukar J., Münzer S., Lörch L., Anacta V.J.A., Fuest S., Schwering A. (2018) Distinguishing Sketch Map Types: A Flexible Feature-Based Classification. In: Creem-Regehr S., Schöning J., Klippel A. (eds) Spatial Cognition XI. Spatial Cognition 2018. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 11034. Springer, Cham.
  • Li, R., Anacta V.J.A., Schwering A. (2017) Can You Follow Your Own Route Directions: How Familiarity and Spatial Abilities Influence Spatial Performance and Sketch Maps. In: Barkowsky T., Burte H., Hölscher C., Schultheis H. (eds) Spatial Cognition X. Spatial Cognition 2016, KogWis 2016. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 10523. Springer, Cham.
  • Anacta,VJA, Humayun, MI, Schwering, A. Krukar,J. Investigating Representations of Places with Clear Spatial Extent in Sketch Maps. In: Bregt A., Sarjakoski T., van Lammeren R., Rip F. (eds) Societal Geo-innovation. AGILE 2017. Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography. Springer, Cham.
  • Anacta, VJA, Wang, J. Schwering, A. 2014. Routes to remember: Comparing verbal instructions and sketch maps. AGILE. Springer Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography.
  • Anacta, VJA and  Schwering A. 2010. Men to the East and Women to the Right: Wayfinding with Verbal Route Instructions. C. Hölscher et al. (Eds.): Spatial Cognition VII, LNAI 6222, pp. 70–84, Springer-Verlag Berlin, Heidelberg.

Notable Awards and Information:

Best Poster Awards

  • Anacta,VJA, Humayun, MI, Schwering, A. Map-off the city: How uncertain places are represented in sketch maps. Poster presented at  18th AGILE International Conference. Lisbon, Portugal, June 8 – 12, 2015.
  • Anacta,VJA, Bartoscheck, T. It’s Girls Day! What sketch maps show about girl’s spatial knowledge. Poster presented at  the 17th AGILE International Conference. Castellon, Spain, June 2-6, 2014.

Best Paper Award

  • Schwering, A, Li, R., Anacta, VJA. Orientation Information in Different Forms of Route Instructions. 16th AGILE Conference on Geographic Information Science. 2013. Leuven, Belgium, 14-17 May 2013. (Best Short Paper Award)

Link to Google Scholar Profile: