A Spatio-Temporal Ontology for Geographic Information Integration

International Journal for Geographical Information Science 23 (6):765-798 (2009)
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This paper presents an axiomatic formalization of a theory of top-level relations between three categories of entities: individuals, universals, and collections. We deal with a variety of relations between entities in these categories, including the sub-universal relation among universals and the parthood relation among individuals, as well as cross-categorial relations such as instantiation and membership. We show that an adequate understanding of the formal properties of such relations – in particular their behavior with respect to time – is critical for geographic information processing. The axiomatic theory is developed using Isabelle, a computational system for implementing logical formalisms. All proofs are computer verified and the computational representation of the theory is available online.

Author Profiles

Barry Smith
State University of New York, Buffalo
Thomas Bittner
State University of New York, Buffalo


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