University of Warwick, Coventry, UK, 5–6 September 2019

PLATIAL’19: International Symposium on Platial Information Science

Convened by Dr René Westerholt (University of Warwick) and Dr Franz-Benjamin Mocnik (Heidelberg University)

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Place

People “live” and constitute places every day through recurrent practices and experience. Our everyday lives, however, are complex, and so are places. In contrast to abstract space, the way people experience places includes a range of aspects like physical setting, meaning, and emotional attachment. This inherent complexity requires researchers to investigate the concept of place from a variety of viewpoints. The formal representation of place–a major goal in GIScience related to place–is no exception and can only be successfully addressed if we consider geographical, psychological, anthropological, sociological, cognitive, and other perspectives.

So far, however, interdisciplinary cooperation on the topic of place has been rare. Geographers have developed a rich conceptual understanding of holistic places, psychologists and cognitive scientists deal with the more individual aspects of perception and conceptualisation, and GIScience scholars are focussing on formalising and conceptualising place-based GIS largely capitalising on a wealth of viewpoints. Research on place has not yet been carried out on a larger scale beyond the boundaries of those different domains. In view of the complexity described above, interdisciplinary approaches are desirable and will presumably lead to a better understanding of the concept of place than to consider it monodisciplinarily.

The motto of this year’s symposium is therefore interdisciplinarity. We hope to bring together place-based researchers from different disciplines to discuss the current state of platial research. In particular, we welcome submissions of papers on the following topics:

  • Which approaches of place representation exist in various disciplines?
  • How can existing theoretical approaches of platial representation from different disciplines be integrated towards a unified notion of place?
  • How can we move forward the integration of platial information with GIS?
  • What might be a suitable strategy for addressing the subjectivity inherent to platial information?
  • What are the roles of uncertainty and fuzziness in a place-based theory of geographical information?
  • In which ways can places be visualised, in particular at multiple scales?
  • Which novel perspectives (e.g., with respect to academic progress, practical applications, methodological frameworks) does place-based analysis provide?
  • How can we demonstrate the practical usefulness of place-based information by means of examples and in comparison to spatial information?
  • (Further topics are welcome if they fit the overall theme of this symposium.)
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