© 2019

The Philosophy of GIS

  • Timothy Tambassi

Part of the Springer Geography book series (SPRINGERGEOGR)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Philosophical Issues in GIS and GIScence

  3. Representing the Geographic World

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 73-73
    2. Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther
      Pages 99-123
  4. Geo-ontological Perspectives

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 135-135
    2. Barry Smith
      Pages 137-158
    3. Amie L. Thomasson
      Pages 159-176
    4. Timothy Tambassi
      Pages 177-205
  5. More Theory, Practice and Applications

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 207-207
    2. Thomas Bittner
      Pages 209-239
    3. Pablo Fernandez Velasco, Roberto Casati
      Pages 241-251
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 265-269

About this book


This anthology aims to present the fundamental philosophical issues and tools required by the reflection within and upon geography and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) . It is an introduction to the philosophy for GIScience from an analytical perspective, which looks at GIS with a specific focus on its fundamental and most general concepts and distinctions. 

The first part of the book is devoted to explore some of the main philosophical questions arising from GIS and GIScience, which include, among others, investigations in ontology, epistemology, linguistics and geometrical modeling. The second part concerns issues related to spatial and cartographical representations of the geographical world. The third part is focused on the ontology of geography, specifically in terms of geographical entities, objects and boundaries. Finally, in the fourth part, the topic of GIS constitutes a starting point for exploring themes such as quantum geography and disorientation, and for defining professional profiles for geographers with competences in GIS environment. 

This book on a new and unexplored field of research could be a fundamental point of reference for professional philosophers and geographers interested in the theoretical reflection about the foundational concepts of GIScience. It is also interesting reading material for students (both undergraduates, postgraduates and Ph.D. students) in philosophy, geography, applied ontology, GIScience, geomatics and computer science.


Philosophy of Geographic Information Systems Geo-ontologies Philosophical reflection of GIS Naïve Geography Geographical Identity Qualitative ontology Grounding Geography Geomatics Theory of Spatial Representation Foundational concepts of GIScience Topology Theory of Spatial Location

Editors and affiliations

  • Timothy Tambassi
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Eastern PiedmontVercelliItaly

About the editors

Timothy Tambassi is an Adjunct Professor in Logic at the University of Eastern Piedmont and an Honorary Research Fellow in History of Philosophy at the University of Parma. 

Moreover, he was an ICUB Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Research Institute of the University of Bucharest, a Research Fellow in Computer Science at the University of Eastern Piedmont, and a Visiting Scholar at the Universities of Milan, Columbia in the City of New York and Durham. 

His main interests of research include Metaphysics, Formal Ontology, Philosophy of Geography, Geo-ontologies and the Philosophy of E.J. Lowe.

Bibliographic information

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