Visual markers act like shorthand, providing us with an easier and faster comprehension of space. By recognising these details we can complete the rest of the picture, much like filling in a pattern. This also means that we may fail to notice things — instead of looking, we are assuming. The tendency to perceive details as a whole is the basis of Gestalt theory in psychology. According to the findings of Berlin School as early as 1920s, our mind is inclined to look for parallels and expect a continuation, literally connecting the dots to make better sense of the sensory perception. While this tendency can save a great deal of time and effort, and help us make leaps of understanding, it can also lead to inaccuracies we are not aware of. For example, when asked to draw an image of a place or person I know, I am still bound to make mistakes, exaggerate details or fill them in by leaps of logic, even though the image in my memory seems accurate and complete.
Not only are the memories of places not always accurate to begin with, they can also change over time. It is difficult to distinguish between real and false memories, as the processes of forming them are psychologically extremely similar8. Another example of a change of perspective is when revisiting places from childhood — the change from child to an adult not only transforms our physical point of perspective, but also the way we understand our experience. The expectation and memories can form an odd contrast with our perceptions at the moment, making us aware of the shift that has taken place.