When exploring the section about cognitive maps in one of my Cognitive Psychology books. I rediscovered the insight about making plans in space. Three aspects we can take here into account. One is related to distance; which means that we always use reference points to estimate a distance. As a consequence it seems shorter while many different references let it seem longer. Second is related to shape which means an egocentric position from where you at. We see that we always use perpendicular abstractions to make a plan. Third we have the well known orientation which is actually a way of turning the image you have, which is hereby not as its standard therefore perpendicular. This sense of freedom is not really confirmed into research.
Fact that comes hereby in front is that people use landmarks, make junctions with right angles, and use average rather than specific positions. There is as such thus an estimation system working. The smart ones (those who have good orientation) use rotation and alignment in a more sophisticated manner. Maybe the components are not less regarded the same but on the global level they are regarded more correctly. There is as a matter of fact a top-down mental image that is very accurate.
My question into this all is how people are getting influenced in a collective manner since there is spoken about an estimation system which uses averages. Maybe I can put that diversity means realistic conduct and certain computations are more complex than others. Many people means having more means to come to pretty correct image when such an estimation system is used. This kind of experiments seem to be thus plausible to use this criterium.
Independence and specialization and coordination seems to be rather dependent on deep processing of information. There would be no real collective intelligent effect I think. But it can have an effect in distance like place where you live (independence). Distance estimations seem to be possible here. Specialization or decentralization means the bundling of information into units. It seems logical that some positions and combinations of positions seem to be favorable above others. I don't know if the sum of the parts can be higher than the whole as been hypothesized earlier by the researchers.
The only thing that has to be done is making a sort of program on the internet for people who fill in their personal information in combination with their estimations using a map of let say Flanders. When this information is made. The number values are used into an excel file to process later on with statistics. Groups are formed by taking together certain classes and others. Maybe it is a good idea that some "egocentric" study time is incorporated. This time could be have an influence where deep processing of information could (or could not!) be a supportive way of approach.
Distance is thus as such what has been measured and is dependent an many factors such as place of living, intelligent quotient, gender, noted places in between, familiarity about the places in between, age, preconditions as study time and familiarity tests/primes, but also of course the related cognitive processes. It seems also a good idea, thus, to take abstract and even virtual names of reference points. This would need then a study phase that can be manipulated for certain interests.