Talking Space — A Social & Fuzzy Logical GIS Perspective On Modelling Spatial Dynamics

  • Susanne Kratochwil
  • Josef Benedikt


Talking Space is drafted as a GIS-based communication platform to map spatial knowledge, which contains inherent uncertainty. This uncertainty is argued to be due to the semantics of categorization using linguistic symbols as applied in a communication process, which is argued to create and shape space and spatial phenomena. Inherent uncertainty is nothing to be eliminated but is an indispensable part in communicating (spatial or non-spatial) knowledge and therefore needs to be talked about. Space is shaped in a deterministic and objective way — yet, in all probability, this overlooks the perceptions, assessments and interests of many space protagonists. The formation and information of actors in space implies relations among different points of view. Perception and assessment of space is understood inadequately. Conventional planning and GIS do not meet requirements on communicating space. GIS is sometimes even referred to as socially empty space. This emptiness may be filled with our ability to talk about space, to perceive space and talk about perceptions and to visualize what we are talking about. This paper is proposing perspectives on different notions of spatial phenomena and their impact on creating spatial knowledge while limiting ourselves to the logical and techno-logical requirements of GIS. Alternative views on spatial categories and their contribution to communication in space are introduced. Three settings are used to develop our perspectives with respect to a Talking Space. An Introduction (A) focuses on challenges of visualizing relations among individual perspectives in space, which is shaped and constructed by social actors. Social as well as cognitive differences among social actors in geographical space are at the core of a Talking Space Development. In Communicating Spatial Knowledge (B) theoretical foundations are introduced, which are necessary in a Talking Space to draft social perspectives on constructing space. It deems necessary to open up the notion of space to Social Science in enabling all actors in space to comprehend spatial phenomena. Theoretical issues on constructing space are discussed. The third setting describes implications of the perspectives introduced in (A) and (B) to a Talking Space Environment (C). This kind of environment will be discussed as a framework of symbols, models and codes addressing social construction, logical proceedings and visual engagements, respectively. Examples using the notion of a Meeting Point and the modeling of noise are used to support the arguments.


Spatial Planning Spatial Knowledge Shaping Space Spatial Decision Support System Spatial Phenomenon 
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.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susanne Kratochwil
    • 1
  • Josef Benedikt
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Sociology in Spatial Planning and Architecture (ISRA)Vienna University of TechnologyViennaAustria
  2. 2.GEOLOGIC Dr. BenediktViennaAustria

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