The Identification of Geographic Activity Contexts – Invitation to Colloquium Mon 03rd April HD

We cordially invite anybody interested to the first public GIScience Colloquium presentation on Monday for this summer term.

Correctly identifying the contextual units that influence geographic phenomena is a fundamental issue within spatial analysis. As ‘true casually relevant’ activity-related geographic contexts vary at the level of the individual by time, space, and activity, they are prone to errors of misspecification, which affect the validity of results. The uncertainty related to this issue is reduced today when widely available high-resolution mobility data is used to reconstruct individual activity spaces. Yet, as activity is mediated by spatial cognition, knowledge, and preferences, delineating these spaces using only objective spatio-temporal constructs may hamper the effort, i.e. considering spaces based only on physical accessibility and not on their behavioral relevance may constrain the extent to which uncertainty may be reduced. To establish this argument, this presentation would rely on three studies:

– a field experiment studying changes in activity patterns within a tourist attraction when visitors are exposed to different spatial information and geographical layouts;

– a model predicting visit probabilities within a road network via the integration of non-Euclidean time-space constructs into models of Probabilistic Time Geography;

– a procedure formalizing topologies of time-space consumption behaviors represented by movement trajectories as well as delimiting the activity spaces related to them.

The first study stresses the need to consider the cognitive-behavioral element when delineating geographical contexts, while the latter two studies constitute the means for this end.