For this book, we defined uncertainty as “the state of knowledge about a relationship between the world, and a statement about the world.” There were several reasons I began working on the topic of spatial uncertainty, and they help reinforce the summary points I want each reader to remember. These include bringing disparate spatial data sets together for analysis with GIS, work with landscape pattern metrics and regional ecological risk assessment, and an exposure to the diverse aspects of geography. I worked for many years on regional or landscape analyses that require spatial data for large geographic areas. Scientists are often happy just to be able to find digital data for vegetation, soils, and topography, let alone worry about their accuracy. Available data are usually at different spatial resolutions and were developed for different purposes, so one is almost immediately faced with some uncertainty issues, although it may not be obvious.
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