Core concepts, Kuhn (2012)

Much like Mark (2003) , Kuhn (2012) seeks to create a comprehensive list of core concepts in GIScience. Kuhn emphasizes the multi-disciplinarity of GIScience, and its importance in the growth GIScience. In general, I think that multi-disciplinarity is beneficial to any field, as different perspectives can provide fresh outlooks. Kuhn’s list of 10 core concepts is approachable for researchers in many disciplines, which can help promote cross-disciplinary GIScience research.

The core concepts are all relatively basic, but Kuhn’s more philosophical approach to them is really interesting. I found the discussion of location and accuracy particularly thought-provoking. Kuhn states that nothing has a true location, as location is based on relativity and context. While I immediately agreed that the understanding of a location is based on context, it took me a while to wrap my head around the fact that a theoretically unmoving object’s location would necessarily be relative to something else in order to establish its location (ie. I can’t be ‘here’ unless there is a ‘there’). I haven’t ever considered location as a dualism, but Kuhn has opened up my mind to the notion.

In the discussion on accuracy, Kuhn suggests that one aspect of accuracy depends on regularity in repeated measurements, but goes on to say that measurements must be understood as a random process. I will readily agree that units of measurement can be random, but shouldn’t the outcome of a measurement be far from random? Either I haven’t thought t enough about it, or a more in-depth explanation of this would be helpful.

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