Measuring semantic differences between conceptualisations: The Portuguese water bodies case - Does education matter?

Paulo Pires, Marco Painho, Werner Kuhn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In 2003 Pires [9] published a study that compared the results from the study performed by David Mark and Barry Smith1 with a similar study applied to Portuguese subjects. The paper concluded that the methodology of Mark and Smith, to establish ontologies from surveys of how users apply terminology, is applicable to identify conceptualization differences in GIS applications. This paper is an extension of that work, presenting the results of the study in terms of university background. In response to series of differently phrased elicitations, 533 subjects (university students from several parts of Portugal and several academic disciplines) were asked to give examples of geographical categories. By this we statistically counted the most mentioned terms and related these to the university background. The results were analysed in order to test the hypothesis: Students from different backgrounds have different conceptualizations of geographical categories due to their scholarly background. Our analysis refutes this hypothesis: students present the same examples for the presented categories and their disciplinary backgrounds cannot be shown to have an influence on the category choices. Ontology has been conceived as a branch of metaphysics that studies the theory of objects and their relationships [3]. In this paper we aim to explore the relation Ontology/Geographical Information Systems from the cognition perspective. We raise the question; does scholarly background influence geographic categorization? In order to answer this question we used a survey that studied a specific set of geographic concepts, water bodies. The main reason behind the choice of these specific entities is that Portugal is a country exposed to the Atlantic and where water has been considered as an important element since the time of the Discoverers. The survey is based on a similar approach taken in other parts of the world, such as England, Finland and others [11].

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOn the Move to Meaningful Internet Systems 2005
Subtitle of host publicationOTM Workshops - OTM Confederated Int. Workshops and Posters, AWeSOMe, CAMS, GADA, MIOS+INTEROP, ORM, PhDS, SeBGIS, SWWS, and WOSE 2005, Proceedings
Pages1020-1026
Number of pages7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005
EventOTM Confederated Internationl Workshops and Posters, AWeSOMe, CAMS, GADA, MIOS+INTEROP, ORM, PhDS, SeBGIS, SWWS, and WOSE 2005 - Agia Napa, Cyprus
Duration: 31 Oct 20054 Nov 2005

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume3762 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

Conference

ConferenceOTM Confederated Internationl Workshops and Posters, AWeSOMe, CAMS, GADA, MIOS+INTEROP, ORM, PhDS, SeBGIS, SWWS, and WOSE 2005
CountryCyprus
CityAgia Napa
Period31/10/054/11/05

Keywords

  • Cognition
  • Geographic Categories
  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Semantics

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