Thoughts on “Do geospatial ontologies perpetuate – Indigenous assimilation?”

The article written by Reid and Sieber discusses the underlying ontology development which reveals the central motivation in the academic fields of GIScience and computer science — making data interoperable across different sources of information. Moreover, the authors explore how the ontology theories should be better developed considering indigenous knowledge inclusive. The title raises up a question while at the end of the paper they answer that: With approaches suggested — indigenous place-based approach and deep engagement with indigenous methodologies for ontology co-creation (participatory approach), Indigenous conceptualizations would be taken seriously and never assimilated by western concepts in ontology development.

I find this paper really interesting for that it brings about the doubts for the conventional geospatial ontology development and asserts the importance of indigenous knowledge. I think not only indigenous knowledge should be emphasized but also many other unique cultures which are not consistent with the advanced western regime. However, constructing a universal ontology is fundamental and a main focus in GIS and CS for data collection, management, control, sharing and etc, and different cultures involved in ontology creation may make the universality much more complicated to understand or communicate. I think maybe sometimes we can create specific ontologies for special case with localized problems.

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