[Geowanking] Idea for a Neogeographers meet Paleogeographerspanel at Where 2.0

Christian Willmes c.willmes at uni-koeln.de
Mon Nov 24 23:03:57 PST 2008

It always helps to remind that "the map is not the territory" [1], or
the model is not the reality. Never by definition.

But it is always also possible to get a better map or a better model
than the actual best by that definition. And this is of course where
you/we can come into play. ;-)

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Map-territory_relation

Eric Wolf schrieb:
>     And what do you mean here by "the Geographic is unique,
>     significant"? To
>     a computer scientist, this sounds at best funny I think.
> I get this a lot. One of these days, I'll develop it into an entire theme.
> Geographic Information is an attempt to represent the world around us
> in computer terms. This seems pretty easy if you start breaking down
> reality into features and attributes. Roads and rivers then fit nicely
> into a database. However, this representation, like a map, is
> inherently a lie. Much of Computer Science avoids these lies by
> focusing on "realities" that are inherently simplified. People want
> Google Earth to function like Second Life. The problem is that in
> Second Life the "reality" is the simplification - it is the lie. In
> Google Earth, all you get are lies with constant reminders of the
> difference between those lies and reality. When you zoom in on your
> house in Google Earth, does it look like it does right now? Who's car
> is parked out front? What season is it? If you attempt to create a
> representation that avoids these lies, you end up with the mythical
> one-to-one scale map.
> Modeling the world in a computer faces the flip-side of the same
> challenges facing artificial intelligence. Our immersion in the world
> around us is at one what makes us human (dasein) and enables our
> intelligence. But this immersion is consistently taken for granted but
> Computer Scientists while it is the very core of Geography.
> -Eric
> -- 
> -=--=---=----=----=---=--=-=--=---=----=---=--=-=-
> Eric B. Wolf                          720-209-6818
> USGS Geographer
> Center of Excellence in GIScience
> PhD Student
> CU-Boulder - Geography
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