A Qualitative Notion of Spatial Proximity

Hans W. Guesgen and Jochen Albrecht, University of Auckland

The concept of space underlying geographic information systems is basically Euclidean, requiring all subjects to adhere to the same view of space. This makes most attempts to deal with imprecise or uncertain geographic information difficult or sometimes even impossible. In this paper, we describe a way of incorporating imprecise qualitative spatial reasoning with quantitative reasoning in geographic information systems that is not restricted to Euclidean geometry. The idea is to use fuzzy sets to model qualitative spatial relations among objects, like The downtown shopping mall is close to the harbor. The membership function of such a fuzzy set defines a fuzzy distance operator, for which a new algorithm is introduced in this paper.

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