Foundational Concepts

The foundational concepts are the elementary building blocks and context setting constraints of all other entries in the BoK. The latter encompass the philosophical and mathematical support for GIScience as well as data models, while the constituent elements include, among others, notions of scale, spatial data quality, and openness. This knowledge area is also the place to look for the origins and future of GIScience.

Topics in this Knowledge Area are listed thematically below. Existing topics are in regular font and linked directly to their original entries (published in 2006; these contain only Learning Objectives). Entries that have been expanded and revised are in bold. Forthcoming, future topics are italicized

Philosophical Basic Measures
Metaphysics and Ontology Distance, Length, and Direction
Epistemology Shape
Philosophical Perspectives Area and Region
Cognitive Proximity & Distance Decay
Perceptions and Cognition of Geographic Phenomena Adjacency and Connectivity
From Concepts to Data Resolution
Place and Landscape Geometric Primitives
The Power of Maps Spatial Autocorrelation
Learning from Experience Interrogating Geographic Information
Domains of Geographic Information Set Theory
Space Structured Query Language (SQL) and Attribute Queries
Time Spatial Queries
Relationships between Space and Time Uncertainty
Properties Error
Networks Defined Problems of Scale and Zoning
Scale and Generalization Thematic Accuracy
Events and Processes Definitions within a Conceptual Model of Uncertainty
Origins Social
Public Sector Origins  Openness
Private Sector Origins  
Academic Origins  

 

FC-12 - Structured Query Language (SQL) and attribute queries
  • Define basic terms of query processing (e.g., SQL, primary and foreign keys, table join)
  • Create an SQL query to retrieve elements from a GIS
  • Explain the basic logic of SQL syntax
  • Demonstrate the basic syntactic structure of SQL
FC-20 - The power of maps
  • Describe how maps such as topographic maps are produced within certain relations of power and knowledge
  • Discuss how the choices used in the design of a road map will influence the experience visitors may have of the area
  • Explain how legal issues impact the design and content of such special purpose maps as subdivision plans, nautical charts, and cadastral maps
  • Exemplify maps that illustrate the provocative, propagandistic, political, and persuasive nature of maps and geospatial data
  • Demonstrate how different methods of data classification for a single dataset can produce maps that will be interpreted very differently by the user
  • Deconstruct the silences (feature omissions) on a map of a personally well known area
  • Construct two maps about a conflict or war producing one supportive of each side’s viewpoint
FC-27 - Thematic accuracy
  • Explain the distinction between thematic accuracy, geometric accuracy, and topological fidelity
  • Outline the SDTS and ISO TC211 standards for thematic accuracy
  • Discuss how measures of spatial autocorrelation may be used to evaluate thematic accuracy
  • Describe the component measures and the utility of a misclassification matrix
  • Describe the different measurement levels on which thematic accuracy is based
FC-08 - Time

Time is a fundamental concept in geography and many other disciplines. This article introduces time at three levels. At the philosophical level, the article reviews various notions on the nature of time from early mythology to modern science and reveals the dual nature of reality: external (absolute, physical) and internal (perceived, cognitive). At the analytical level, it introduces the measurement of time, the two frames of temporal reference: calendar time and clock time, and the standard time for use globally. The article continues to discuss time in GIS at the practical level. The GISystem was first created as a “static” computer-based system that stores the present status of a dynamic system. Now, GISystems can track and model the dynamics in geographical phenomena and human-environment interactions. Representations of time in dynamic GISystems adopt three perspectives: discrete time, continuous time and Minkowski’s spacetime, and three representations: ordinal, interval, and cyclical. The appropriate perspective and representation depend on the observed temporal patterns, which can be static, oscillating, chaotic, or stochastic. Recent progress in digital technology brings us opportunities and challenges to collect, manage and analyze spatio-temporal data to advance our understanding of dynamical phenomena.

Pages