Neuroscientists, John O’Keefe and May- Brit Moser and Edvard Moser have just been awarded the Nobel prize in Medicine for their remarkable discovery of ‘grid cells’ which enable us to navigate. Dubbed “an inner GPS, in the Brain” the grid cells provide a geometrically regular hexagonal grid that appears to provide a direct representation of physical space.
Widely used in board games such as Dungeons and Dragons Hexagonal Maps have some clear advantages over a square grid, providing a consistent distance between a cells centre and the centre of adjacent cells as well as providing the most efficient grid, using the least number of nodes across an area. Maybe we should consider a Hexagonal grid the next time we design a map for a hospital or airport?
Images are The Battle for Wesnoth, one of many role playing games using a hex grid and a representation of ‘grid cells’ John O’Keefe and May- Brit Moser and Edvard Moser