A Tangent from Fuzzy Footprints…

Goodchild’s (somewhat uncoordinated) introduction to Fuzzy Footprints got me thinking, once again, back to ontologies–as has been mentioned by many others posting not only on this topic, but on many topics we have covered in class this semester.  So it brought me back to another question asked in class, again with regards to multiple topics: how important is geo-education?  And so here I would argue: VERY important.

Uncertainty can be largely down to our ability (or lack thereof) to communicate, and to understand what has been communicated by others.  Boundaries, locations, and our ability to define them are essential to geolibraries.  If we cannot come to general understandings, there will constantly be error.  Before in class I was not convinced that education (about scale, particularly, but about various geographic phenomena) should be made explicit (outside of a geography class).  Now, I believe otherwise–how could I not after repeating topic after topic that ontologies (and thus understanding) is important?

To create a global database of georeferenced information is a magnificent endeavour.  To create a global database of georeferenced information that can be efficiently searched by any member of the global community is a whole new ballgame, and must necessarily involve a renewed goal of educating the public and of coming to shared understandings (both on areas of agreement and disagreement).


Tags: , ,

Comments are closed.