Ontological Tools for Geographic Representation

Roberto Casati
CNRS, Aix-en-Provence (France)

Barry Smith
Department of Philosophy and Center for Cognitive Science, SUNY Buffalo, NY

Achille C. Varzi
Department of Philosophy, Columbia University, New York, NY

    From: N. Guarino (ed.), Formal Ontology in Information Systems, Amsterdam: IOS Press, 1998, pp. 77–85.

Abstract. This paper is concerned with certain ontological issues in the foundations of geographic representation. It sets out what these basic issues are, describes the tools needed to deal with them, and draws some implications for a general theory of spatial representation. Our approach has ramifications in the domains of mereology, topology, and the theory of location, and the question of the interaction of these three domains within a unified spatial representation theory is addressed. In the final part we also consider the idea of non-standard geographies, which may be associated with geography under a classical conception in the same sense in which non-standard logics are associated with classical logic.

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