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Ontology

  • By: Dalia Varanka
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Spatial ontologies are formal arrangements of geographic features based on the meaning of their terms and relation to each other. Taken from the field of philosophy concerned with ontology, or the study of what is real in the world, the role of ontology in geography is to formalize knowledge bases (logical structures of geographical knowledge) and to recognize, exchange, and support common geography cultures through the use of the semantics, or meanings, that groups of people assign to geographic features and spatial relations. Within the established scope of the ontology, the features imply definitions and descriptive qualities. Relations among features have a range of meanings or specific values. Although the articulation of an ontology is a largely abstract endeavor, its elements are derived from ...

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