Nina Lam, David Catts, Dale Quattrochi, Daniel Brown, Robert B Mc Master

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

34 Scopus citations


The issue of scale is not new, nor is it a concern restricted to geographic information scientists. Scale variations have long been known to constrain the detail with which information can be observed, represented, analyzed, and communicated. Changing the scale of data without first understanding the effects of such action can result in the representation of processes or patterns that are different from those intended. For example, research has shown that reducing the resolution of a raster land cover map (going to larger cells) can increase the dominance of the contiguous classes, but decrease the amount of small and scattered classes (like wetlands in some locations) in the representation (Turner et al., 1989). The spatial scaling problem presents one of the major impediments, both conceptually and methodologically, to advancing all sciences that use geographic information. Likewise, temporal scaling, a separate but related issue, is not well understood and thus difficult to formalize. In an information era, massive amount of geographic data are collected from various sources, often at different scales. Before these data can be integrated for problem solving, fundamental issues must be addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA Research Agenda for Geographic Information Science
EditorsRobert B McMaster, E L Usery
Place of PublicationBoca Raton, Florida
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages36
ISBN (Electronic)9781420038330
ISBN (Print)0849327288, 9780849327285
StatePublished - 2004


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