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Approaching the notion of place by contrast

Stephan Winter, Christian Freksa


Place is an elusive notion in geographic information science. This paper presents an approach to capture the notion of place by contrast. This approach is developed from cognitive concepts and the language that is used to describe places. It is complementary to those of coordinate-based systems that dominate contemporary geographic information systems. Accordingly, the approach is aimed at explaining structures in verbal place descriptions and at localizing objects without committing to geometrically specified positions in space. We will demonstrate how locations can be identified by place names that are not crisply defined in terms of geometric regions. Capturing the human cognitive notion of place is considered crucial for smooth communication between human users and computer-based geographic assistance systems.

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