keywords: vernacular qualitative spatial vague fuzzy maps
UP NORTH That is a powerful statement. It MEANS something.
It's wrong but it's how people think about geographical areas.
How can we
capture, record, analyse and inform using such
vernacular vague geographies
the shops in the centre
dog shit alley
Hyde Park is a high crime area
the bad side of town
the posh neighbourhoods
Are used much much much more than the coordinates and scientifically defined
variables beloved of most professional analysts, websites and web maps.
the use of descriptors like ‘Downtown’ or ‘the grim area down by
the station’ allows us to communicate geographical references that often include
information on associated environmental, socio-economic, and architectural data
These vernacular geographical terms are not simply
indicative – they often represent psychogeographical areas in which we constrain our
activities, and they convey to members of our immediate socio-linguistic community that
this constraint should be added to their shared knowledge and acted upon
by professionals. Official.
lines, polygons, top down, powerful, heavy on the science
Neogeography is about people using and creating their
own maps, on their own terms and
by combining elements of an existing toolset
Volunteered Geographic Information
Finds places / events from people's Flickr photos. The text people
use when describing their snapshots.
Ordnance.S. - vernacular placenames
OpenStreetMap loc_name and old_name
“dog shit alley” “the Giant Bench”
bit confusing this bit....
Indifference Continuousness Multivariate classification
transition between soils, rough area, binned into classes
Unbounded areas town centre and not
Poor precision high crime for a norweigan
Averaging and a mancunian
there is a line, but we
seaside, hill, dont know how to define, measure it most people think LA is a high crime area’
boundary is average but have no idea how ‘LA’ or
‘high crime’ are being used.
1. Vernacular areas, often fall into all of these.
Ask people to outline and justify areas where they think crime levels are high,
most people will draw on a slew of continuous and discrete variables at differing
scales of detail, historical experiences, urban morphology and mythology,
as well as introducing linguistic vagueness
2. Internal variations
High crime areas, for example, often have zones of greater or lesser danger.
Overlaid on this will be a variation in the familiarity with areas or confidence
with which people assign an area to a term
Why can't people think like my computer??!!
Pain to capture using traditional discrete mapping tools, and even if you did, it
wouldn't make much sense within those models.
Geo data is good because computers can do stuff with it,
but people dont think in geo terms
meet people halfway, somehow?
Treating areas as having diffuse boundaries, internal variations
methods already out there
or, in academia, perhaps
Fuzzy sets / logic
a coordinate might be 80% ‘High Crime’, for example.
The use is clearest when there are contrasting classes,
even if these are implicit: 80% ‘High Crime’ also suggests a 20%
membership of a ‘Low Crime’ class.
Fuzzy Logic ‘if CRIME is HIGH, INVEST = MORE’.
Statistical and probabilistic approaches
perceived areas as surfaces
across which a membership level varies we
Mereological Algebras, those that deal with parts and
wholes, have developed to cope with three-part logics – that is,
logical problems dealing with true, false and indeterminate
Egg Model. Yoke = true, White = indeterminate, fryingpan = false
vector. spatial relationships, does one overlap, within etc
multiple people hold multiple spatial and aspatial definitions.multiple definitions of an area can
be overlapped to construct a mereotopological entity in which the yolk is areas
everyone agrees are ‘Downtown’, the white is where there is some agreement, and
the pan areas where everyone agrees no definition holds
Fitness for purpose
both with reference to an individual (can data collected from a
person for one purpose be used for another?) and the group (are two people’s data
define the question, increase the specificity of the problems
i.e. “where are the areas you mean when you say “you are going to the shops” ?
vs “define the areas where you shop, and rate them according to
how often you go there in a week.”
Precision and accuracy
the instrument is the mind, can we gauge the accuracy and confidence.
Qualify depending on user-confidence in their own judgement
or familiarity with the area?
An intuitive system to record, capture analyse and inform
using vague vernacular geographies
Datasets that are rich in information.
Comparable with empirical data.
Personally & group comparable.
Applied to anything where there is folk vague geographies
Best shopping areas in Leeds
percieved highest crime areas
favourite part of the Dales
Which areas around the town are more important for you, before we create
Where are the terrorists? ask an American, then ask an Irishman.
Points to consider
Ease of use – meet people half way
Capture vague borders
Intra and inter variations
Tell Tim to stop here!
then he will tell you about
So far, some applications:
Where do you think has more crime?
Where are you most familiar with?
Where is wilderness in the UK?
on Indian Reservation:
Which areas are more important for you
when thinking about hunting
Which places are more important for
sensitive cultural practices