This paper examines a biologically-inspired representation technique designed for the support of sensory-motor learning in developmental robotics. An interesting feature of the many topographic neural sheets in the brain is that closely packed receptive fields must overlap in order to fully cover a spatial region. This raises interesting scientific questions with engineering implications: e.g. is overlap detrimental? does it have any benefits? This paper examines the effects and properties of overlap between elements arranged in arrays or maps. In particular we investigate how overlap affects the representation and transmission of spatial location information on and between topographic maps. Through a series of experiments we determine the conditions under which overlap offers advantages and identify useful ranges of overlap for building mappings in cognitive robotic systems. Our motivation is to understand the phenomena of overlap in order to provide guidance for application in sensory-motor learning robots.