Make an Impact in Your Field
15 September 2020
General Principles/Analytical Frameworks in Geography/GIScience
Geography is a discipline with a diversity of subfields including cartography and GIScience as well as human, physical and human and environment geography. Despite the enduring debate on whether geography should be an ideographic vs. nomothetic discipline, geography has witnessed dramatic specialization within and across its subfields over the past two decades. This specialization might enable scholars to develop in-depth understandings and techniques that better address the issues faced in respective subfields under particular contexts or conditions. Still, there remains a need for geographers to articulate general principles and analytical frameworks that are held in common across the diverse subfields in geography. An important body of work exploring this question has been produced in the GIScience subfield, broadly defined. These treatments have focused on principles related to spatial variation of phenomena. Spatial autocorrelation (“Everything is related to everything else, but near things are more related than distant things”) and spatial heterogeneity (“Geographic variables exhibit uncontrolled variance”) are two important general principles (referred to as first and second laws of geography by some authors) that geographers have offered as important analytical frames for geographic analyses. Recently, a possible third principle, geographic similarity (“The more similar geographic configurations of two points, the more similar the values (processes) of the target variable at these two points”), was proposed as another general analytical frame. It, in combination with the previous two, opens up new axes of engagement with ongoing debates about issues such as scale, place, relation, context, and integration within Geography’s other subfields. A number of questions are raised when considering these three principles/laws: 1) Do the above general principles (spatial autocorrelation, spatial heterogeneity, geographic similarity) hold and serve as the analytical frames for geographers? 2) How do these principles relate to emerging concepts and framings in other subfields? and 3) What, if any, new principles (laws) and analytical frames have emerged from addressing recent challenges to geography? This special issue begins a discussion about these questions. Answers to these questions would not only solidify geography as a discipline but also serve those outside the discipline by providing a clearer articulation of these important geographic principles. Discussion on principles in geography and GIScience will also further improve the methodological rigor in the context of reproducibility and replicability and stimulate further empirical testing through the open science paradigm.
Topics include, but not limited to, the follows:
- Discovery of new principles/laws in geography/GIScience
- Discussion on the existing principles/laws in geography/GIScience
- Discussion of the relevance of these existing principles to concepts in fields outside of Geography
- Empirical testing of principles and laws in geography/GIScience
- Applications, examples, and methodological advancement based on the existing principles/laws
Looking to Publish your Research?
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Interested authors are encouraged to send the title of proposed paper and a short description to one of the guest editors through email by July 15, 2020.
The full paper of the selected is expected to be submitted to Annals of GIS via its online submission system at below before the submission deadline. When submitting, use “Principles and Analytical Frameworks” to signify that the paper is part of this special issue so that it will receive special attention from the guest editors. This special issue is expected to be published as the first issue of 2021.
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