地理空间认知是人类获取地理空间知识、认知地理环境的重要方法和手段，虚拟地理环境VGEs（Virtual Geographic Environments）作为继地图和地理信息系统（GIS）之后的新一代地理分析工具，在地理空间认知方面具有显著优势，但目前相关研究尚处于概念探讨和框架搭建阶段，缺乏对地理空间认知内涵及相关技术方法的论述和研究。本文以经典的地理学6问题求解为导向，从地理本体认知、地理过程认知和地理行为认知3个层次，阐述了VGEs地理空间认知的内涵和基本内容；进一步重点探讨了实现VGEs地理空间认知的相关技术方法，包括城市空间表达与城市计算、多模式人机交互、地理知识图谱与空间推理、地理过程模拟、地理行为模式识别与情感计算等方面。以重庆为例开展了应用案例实践，展示了如何利用相关技术方法实现对地理环境和地理空间对象的认知和理解。本文提出的总体框架和技术体系为VGEs地理空间认知的深入开展和技术实现提供了新的思路和解决方案，有助于将该项工作从理论探讨阶段推向技术实现阶段。
Geo-spatial cognition is an important method for humans to acquire geospatial knowledge and recognize geographical environment. For a long time, people carried out geo-spatial cognition based on maps and GIS, but it has been proven difficult due to the disadvantages of maps and GIS on geospatial expression, understanding of geographical process, and human-computer interaction. With the development of Virtual Geographic Environments (VGEs), people realize that VGEs have become important new tools for geo-spatial cognition because they are in accordance with the cognition habits in actual living. As an important new direction of geographic information science, VGE-based geo-spatial cognition has been extensively studied in recent years. However, in general, existing studies are still at the primary stage; they mostly focus on the concept, cognitive characteristics, and the preliminary framework. However, studies on the connotation and relevant technical methods are few.In accordance with the solution of the six classical geographical questions, the basic contents of VGE-based geo-spatial cognition from the three levels of geographical ontology cognition, geographical process cognition, and geographical behavior cognition are elaborated. Among them, the geographical ontology cognition solves the questions of “what, where, when, and their relationship.” Geographical process cognition solves the questions of “why is it there, how does it form, and how will it develops.” Geographic behavioral cognition solves the questions of “what’s the effect, what role does it play, and how it can be used.” Then, the relevant technical methods are discussed to realize VGE-based geo-spatial cognition, including urban spatial representation and urban computing, multimode human–computer interaction, geographical knowledge graph and spatial reasoning, geographical process simulation, geographical behavior pattern recognition, and emotional computing. Finally, a case study of Chongqing based on the overall framework and technical system is conducted.On the basis of “Chongqing 3D Space Digital Platform,” the corresponding practical results are presented from three levels of geographical ontology cognition, geographical process cognition, and geographical behavior cognition, displaying the use of relevant technical methods to recognize geographical environment and geospatial objects. Most existing studies focus on preliminary stages, such as the concept, research framework, expression of spatial objects, and geographical knowledge in the virtual environment. On the contrary, further exploration is conducted, thereby obtaining the actual cognitive results through the application of relevant technologies.Under the support of overall framework and technical system, the realization approach and the practice results of geographical ontology cognition, geographical process cognition, and geographical behavior cognition are presented. This approach provides new ideas and solution for in-depth development and technical implementation of VGE- based geo-spatial cognition, and transforms the research from the conceptual discussion stage to the technical practice stage.