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Icons

Icons are most probably the primary images we create when we try to think "Los Angeles" or any other global city such as "New York" and "Mexico City" as a single thought. In any case, our cognitive maps of cities are well-known to be composed of many icons. Perhaps the majority of people who have never been in a given city can only think of these icons as they attempt to imagine that city. Icons with special force and depth are those thought by many millions of persons (present and past accumulating). The most remarkable of all are those thought by billions of people. The Hollywood sign may qualify as one occupying more than a billion minds. But in a strong sense, all of our personal cognitive maps are composed of many thousands or millions of particular, obscure, and intimate "icons," better known as the "landmarks" of our daily lives. Another remarkable feature of icons is that they often seem to have a very vague or floating "location." Perhaps most thinkers of most major urban icons cannot locate the icon in a standard cartographic map. They "float" in the minds of the very residents of the city, who all navigate the city by their own mental maps. Most Angelenos would probably tell you that these are not the "real" Los Angeles. They certainly are certinaly only one of an infinite number of "real" Los Angeles locations. "Real" is not an interesting term. They are "certain" in the sense of this web site. They are intersections between in the maps of knowledge.

The Hollywood Sign
LA International Airport "Theme Building"
Pacific Ocean Beaches
Freeway Interchanges
City Hall
Note: Highways are shown for reference