How can we represent spatial information in maps in a cognitively adequate way? The present article outlines a cognitive conceptual approach that proposes primitive conceptual elements from which maps can be constructed. Based on work in geography that starts with abstract models of geographic phenomena, namely modelisation chorematique by R. Brunet (1980, 1987), we coin primitive conceptual elements of route directions wayfinding choremes. Sketch map drawings were analyzed as they obey the same medial constraints as maps but are constructed in a way that provides insights into human conceptions. A distinction between structural and functional aspects of wayfinding presents a useful method to gain further knowledge about human conceptualizations and leads to a practicable cognitive conceptual approach to map construction.