[[abstract]]Yangmingshan National Park is located in the northern border of the Taipei Basin, adjoining the Taipei metropolitan area . The recreation area featuring an extinct volcano attracts visitors to be engaged in a half-day or one-day recreation activity on weekends or vacation . It is attributed to the type of regional life circle aimed at recreation activi-ties . The process of selecting a certain kind of recreation activity is based on the general impression of the recreation area . The image of the area is linked to its physical characteristics . High legibility and strong identity are apt to deeply impress the visitors . In view of the concept that spatial movement is the foundation of spatial knowledge, the study is qualitative research oriented in order to under -stand visitors’ cognitive image of Yangmingshan National Park . The essential part of the study is participant obser -vation with multimethod. I gather and cross-check the qualitative and quantitative information to design the experimental routes for visitors to tour around Liuhuangku, Lung- fengku, Lengshuiken, Chingtienkang, Menghuan Pond, Hsiao- yuken, Tatun Natural Park, Chutzehu, and Yangming Park . Hence, visitors’ spatial cognitive image is studied through the acquisition process of the spatial knowledge and viewpoint of the landscape of the recreation area . The properties of the scenic spots of Yangmingshan National Park include the open view, the volcano smell, vivid feeling, vast grasslands, special shape of the landscape, the formation of the landscape, and the setoff of different plants. Symbolizing the landscape of the area, these seven properties can easily be recognized by visitors on account of their clear identity . The general impression of the recreation area comes from the acquisition of the spatial knowledge through com- manding the clear features and the landscape and collecting related information . Without man-made landmarks in the mountain area, visitors are inclined to beat different paths to connect some nodes and landmarks and make them into scenic spots .Thus, they organize a cognitive map including spatial- patterned, spatial layout, spatial scattered and sequential chain-and-branch types . According to an analysis, the general image of Yangmingshan National Park originates in a dual frame . The five image elements of paths, scenic spots, landmarks, nodes, and entrances make up the first fundamental image frame; the range of recreation activities, the deeper part of the image, forms the second frame . Therefore, the general image of Yangmingshan National Park is comprised of six image elements: paths, scenic spots, landmarks, nodes, entrances, and the range of recreational activities . Keywords：cognition , image elements , cognitive map , Yangmingshan Natiional Park
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