A geographer looks at spatial information theory

Michael F. Goodchild

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

37 Scopus citations


Geographic information is defined as a subset of spatial information, specific to the spatiotemporal frame of the Earth’s surface. Thus geographic information theory inherits the results of spatial information theory, but adds results that reflect the specific properties of geographic information. I describe six general properties of geographic information, and show that in some cases specialization has assumed other properties that are less generally observed. A recognition of the distinction between geographic and spatial would allow geographic information theory to achieve greater depth and utility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpatial Information Theory
Subtitle of host publicationFoundations of Geographic Information Science - International Conference, COSIT 2001, Proceedings
EditorsDaniel R. Montello
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)3540426132, 9783540426134
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes
Event5th International Conference on Spatial Information Theory, COSIT 2001 - Morro Bay, United States
Duration: Sep 19 2001Sep 23 2001

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other5th International Conference on Spatial Information Theory, COSIT 2001
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMorro Bay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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