Computers, Society, and Nature

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visualizing time

14 March 2013 - 5:12pm
Marceau et als article looks at the use of temporal GIS in a study of land use in St. Eustache. While the paper shows one way that we may incorporate time into GIS, it is only one fairly limited use. The paper’s twelve year old date is important to consider in a fair critique, and [...]

Time Goes By, So Slow

14 March 2013 - 5:07pm
Temporal mapping has always been one of the biggest issues within the GIS community. Although the visualization of spatio-temporal data has advanced dramatically since the time of writing of the article  (1988), it is still relatively challenging to map and present this type of data in a clear way. Spatial-temporal modeling is useful for many [...]

LBS, consent

14 March 2013 - 4:58pm
Steinfield’s article on location based services gives a useful overview of prominent technologies, applications and issues related to the domain. Questions of privacy and ethics are raised in the article, but the date of the article means that the most pressing aspects of LBS and privacy have yet to arrive. Indeed it seems that Steinfeld [...]

Scooby Doo, Where are You?

14 March 2013 - 3:38pm
Location Based Services (LBS) have become a major component of the marketing strategies of service providers. With the rapid development of technologies, especially in the mobile arena, it is now easier than ever for providers to deliver focused services. Although Rao does a great job of highlighting the potential of LBS, in reality he underestimates the [...]

Radical changes in Time

13 March 2013 - 6:23am
The paper by Langran et. al. made me realize how little has been achieved in representing the temporal aspect through maps. Digital maps have tried portraying the changes in some phenomenon over time through the use of accessories like time sliders. But this only changes the overlay information on a static base map. The lack [...]

Faith in VGI: Easy Come, Easy Go

1 March 2013 - 4:04am
Coleman et al review developments and issues in the emerging realm of volunteered geographic information (VGI).  Focusing on VGI as a crowdsourcing exercise, the authors create a typology of users (they coin the term “produsers” to describe the ambivalent status of VGI participants) based on experience level and familiarity with the topic, ranging from the [...]

Mental Maps and Cognitive Space

1 March 2013 - 3:33am
Tversky et al describe and discuss humans’ cognition of space at three different scales: that of navigational space, the space around the body, and the space of the body itself.  They review studies that have demonstrated that humans’ mental representations of these three spaces are both schematicized, or simplified while maintaining topological relationships, as well [...]

Spatial cognition, ontology, epistemology

1 March 2013 - 1:24am
Tversky, in his paper, divides spatial cognition into three “spaces”: navigation, surrounding the body, and the body. Reading this article brought to mind previous discussions in our classes with respect to ontology and epistemology. While the article gave a series of examples of each type of spatial cognition, they were mostly rooted within a Western [...]

Volunteered geographic information

1 March 2013 - 12:19am
This article presents volunteered geographic information (VGI) and provides some interesting and new examples of implemented tools using spatial information that has been donated or provided by citizens informally, such as OpenStreetMaps, or data that have been altered (e.g., the John Snow map, which is super cool). I think the primary issues that arise when [...]

Spatial cognition: it’s fun

28 February 2013 - 11:52pm
These papers on spatial cognition introduced another complex, inter/multi-disciplinary field that is relevant and interesting for GIScientists, but not necessarily a sub-field of GIS or geography and requires considerable knowledge outside of the discipline. The papers point out some predictable things that humans do to better understand spatial information and our environments – like mentally [...]

Volunteered Geographic Information: the nature and motivation of produsers

28 February 2013 - 11:49pm
Coleman et al. nicely characterizes the types of people who volunteer geographic information and the nature of their contributions in an easy to read and understand article. Especially important to keep in mind was the difference between “information produsage” and “informational production”. The mix of expertise, reasoning and type of contribution the authors provided are [...]

Spatial cognition for better GIS?

28 February 2013 - 11:36pm
I read the article of Richardson et al. and I find it very interesting how different experiences (maps, navigation, virtual environments) enable different representations and different ways of learning space. I see that the study of spatial cognition can be a way to design more accessible GIS to the users. It seems more obvious after [...]

Will You Volunteer?

28 February 2013 - 11:30pm
Goodchild’s article does a great job of giving an overview of the history, components, and some of the uses of Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI). Though he does a great job of highlighting the many benefits to this huge source of data, he also acknowledges some of the issues that arise with dependency on this type [...]

Sensitive sensors?

28 February 2013 - 11:08pm
Michael F. Goodchild argues that the most important value of volunteered geography might be provided by citizens sensors compiling information (unnoticed by other media) about their local environment and daily activities. The authors briefly signalize issues related to volunteered geography (digital divide, authority and assertion, mention the issue of privacy, but do not engage in [...]

Living in a Virtual World

28 February 2013 - 11:07pm
As I was reading through Richardson’s article, I kept thinking to myself time and time again- why aren’t Virtual Environments and effective tool for learning the layouts of real environments? It stands to reason that if the real environment is reproduced at a digital level, a test subject should be able to gain a similar amount of knowledge about [...]

Map memories

28 February 2013 - 10:16pm
In their 1999 study, Richardson et al. compared how subjects learn to navigate their environments from maps, navigation, and virtual copies of the environments. They found that people tend to learn more effectively from maps than from virtual environments. The paper itself is thorough and describes in detail the authors’ procedure and findings. I happen [...]

Three Spaces of Spatial Cognition

28 February 2013 - 9:44pm
Tversky and Morrison describe how we keep track of 3 different spaces – navigation, the space immediately around the body and the space of body. Linking these three spaces together, they are used concurrently as we interact with the world around us. The authors describe how each space is conceptualized differently in our minds from [...]

On Academia, Industry and Assumed Value Neutrality

28 February 2013 - 9:16pm
Reading Coleman et als’ paper, a useful piece examining VGI participants and their motivation, brought forth, for me, one of my bigger pet peeves: the idea of value-neutrality (and proficiency) within academia. Let me explain. In the list of motivations to contribute, the authors identify three negative motivations: mischief, agenda, and malice and/or criminal intent. [...]

Virtual Environment in need of more development for spatial learning

28 February 2013 - 9:11pm
In Michael Goodchild’s article “Citizens as Sensors: The World of Volunteered Geography” (2005), he summarizes the pros and cons of VGI, and some of the barriers that stand in the way of true citizen science. The debate over VGI is, in essence, a debate of privileged technically-proficient scientists versus the masses of under-educated (for the [...]

Spatial Learning: What works now and what might work later

28 February 2013 - 9:10pm
Interestingly, in Richardson et al.’s (1999) study on spatial cognition and learning, distinctions were made between how people perceive space on a map, while walking the route themselves, and while walking the route on a virtual tour. Differences were noted between map and navigation methods, as well as between real and virtual environments. No differences [...]