GiScience and primates

Advancements in GIScience and associated technologies have enabled researchers to ask more original and complex questions. In “Emergent Group Level Navigation: An Agent-Based Evaluation of Movement Patterns in a Folivorous Primate”, the researchers use agents to simulate the foraging behaviour of red colobus monkeys. The intersection of GIS with other disciplines not only highlights its role as a tool, but also advances the discipline of GIScience. It encourages the development of questions/problems that are unique to GIS, such as: How do you model topologies and proximity, while being mindful of issues of scale?
While models often don’t fully capture the complexity of reality, the development of agents to represent different hypotheses of primate foraging behavior deepens, presents an exciting way to test the validity of various theories.
More generally, artificial life geospatial agents allow us to better characterize interactions among people and their environments. The predictive nature of simulations provides many opportunities to improve scientific understanding (e.g of primate foraging behaviour) and design efficiency (e.g modeling people response during natural disasters to better plan for evacuations/emergency response). But can’t the modeling human behaviours also be used as a tool for tacit control?
When it comes to the developments of agents, are there any ethical considerations; and if so, what are they?
The growth of GIScience allows use to do incredibly interesting and innovative things, pushing the envelop of research in a variety of disciplines; but has the discussion around the social and ethical implications of GIScience kept paste with the development of the field?


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