‘Place’ in the GIScience Community – an indicative and preliminary Systematic Literature Review

The concept of place has recently gained importance in geographical information science (GIScience). One reason for this is the emergence of user-generated geographic information, which partially represents subjective everyday geographical encounters. No consensus, however, on how to deal with place in GIScience has yet been reached. A recently published paper presents a systematic literature review providing an overview of how parts of the GIScience community currently use the concept of place as it is understood in human geography.

The results suggest that most place related GIScience scholars refer to the humanistic tradition of geography focusing on the essence of experiences of place. Further, it is found that geotagged data published online are a major driver of place-based research, whereas scientific data (e.g., surveys) are less commonly found in respective papers. Many researchers make use of exploratory approaches, which may reflect the early stage at which place-based GIScience research still sits. We also identify a difference between the approach core members of GIScience take and those working on the edge of the field. Thereby, the former often work more conceptually than the latter. The results of this preliminary review inform the current GIScience discourse on place by important evidence about the intellectual standpoints of GIScience scholars, thus fostering future research into place.

Wagner D., Zipf A. and Westerholt R.: Place in the GIScience Community – an Indicative and Preliminary Systematic Literature Review, Proceedings of PLATIAL 2019, pp. 13–22. doi: 10.5281/zenodo.3628855.