The concept of place recently gains momentum in GIScience. In some fields like human geography, spatial cognition or information theory, this topic already has a longer scholarly tradition. This is however not yet completely the case with statistical spatial analysis and cartography. Despite that, taking full advantage of the plethora of user-generated information that we have available these days requires mature place-based statistical and visualization concepts. A recently accepted and published paper for GIScience 2018 conference in Melbourne contributes to these developments: We integrate existing place definitions into an understanding of places as a system of interlinked, constituent characteristics. Based on this, challenges and first promising conceptual ideas are discussed from statistical and visualization viewpoints. One major challenge is to find suitable units upon which statistical analyses of places can be conducted. Conceptual spaces have been identified as one promising way to define such units, though an in-depth harmonization of this framework with places still needs to be done in future work. Further, platial counterparts to important spatial-statistical concepts must be formulated in order to develop a valid and rigorous statistical theory of places. It is not yet clear to what extent data taken from user-generated feeds is truely platial. Since data is a crucial ingredient to achieving insights on places, this is one of the major empirical steps to be undertaken in the near future. In terms of visualizing places, the major issues with current approaches include wrong spatial impressions created through interpolation techniques, the problem of displaying multifaceted place-based information at once, and the combination of different subjective places in one map. However, the proposed example using micro diagrams has shown first promising results for the presentation of multidimensional, qualitative information together with the spatial outline of places in a conceivable way.
Westerholt, R., Gröbe, M., Zipf, A. and Burghardt, D. (2018): Towards the statistical analysis and visualization of places. 10th International Conference on Geographic Information Science, Melbourne, Australia, DOI: 10.4230/LIPIcs.GIScience.2018.63.
Related work on PLATIAL analytics will be presented and discussed at our PLATIAL 2018 Workshop in Heidelberg. 20.-21.Sept. 2018. Join the Discussion!