A Classification of Spatio-temporal Entities Based on Their Location in Space-Time

  • Thomas Bittner
  • Maureen Donnelly
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4278)


We present an axiomatic theory of spatio-temporal entities based on the primitives spatial-region, part-of, and is-an-instance-of. We provide a classification of spatio-temporal entities according to the number and kinds of regions at which they are located in spacetime and according to whether they instantiate or are instantiated at those regions. The focus on location and instantiation at a location as the central notions of this theory makes it particularly appropriate for serving as a foundational ontology for geography and geographic information science.


Spatial Region Geographic Information System Spacetime Region Formal Ontology Axiomatic Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Abdelmoty, A.I., Smart, P.D., Jones, C.B., Fu, G., Finch, D.: A critical evaluation of ontology languages for geographic information retrieval on the internet. Journal of Visual Languages & Computing 16(4), 331–358 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Agarwal, P.: Ontological considerations in giscience. International Journal of Geographical Information Science 19(5), 501–536 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bittner, T., Donnelly, M.: The mereology of stages and persistent entities. In: Lopez de Mantaras, R., Saitta, L. (eds.) Proceedings of the 16th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence, pp. 283–287. IOS Press, Amsterdam (2004)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bittner, T., Donnelly, M., Winter, S.: Ontology and semantic interoperability. In: Prosperi, D., Zlatanova, S. (eds.) Large-scale 3D data integration: Problems and challenges, pp. 139–160. CRCpress (Taylor & Francis) (2005)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Casati, R., Smith, B., Varzi, A.C.: Ontological tools for geographic representation. In: Guarino, N. (ed.) Formal Ontology and Information Systems (FOIS 1998), pp. 77–85. IOS Press, Amsterdam (1998)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Casati, R., Varzi, A.C.: Parts and Places. MIT Press, Cambridge (1999)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Fonseca, F., Egenhofer, M., Agouris, P., Câmara, G.: Using ontologies for integrated geographic information systems. Transactions in GIS 6(3), 231–257 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gangemi, A., Guarino, N., Masolo, C., Oltramari, A., Schneider, L.: Sweetening ontologies with DOLCE. AI Magazine 23(3), 13–24 (2003)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Grenon, P., Smith, B.: SNAP and SPAN: Towards dynamic spatial ontology. Spatial Cognition and Computation 4(1), 69–103 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Sider, T.: Four–Dimensionalism. Clarendon Press, Oxford (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Simons, P.: Parts, A Study in Ontology. Clarendon Press, Oxford (1987)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Bittner
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Maureen Donnelly
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Philosophy 
  2. 2.Department of Geography 
  3. 3.New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences 
  4. 4.National Center for Geographic Information and AnalysisState University of New York at Buffalo 

Personalised recommendations