Matching Geospatial Concepts with Geographic Educational Needs


In this paper, we assume that learning to comprehend the geospatial environment would be significantly facilitated by developing a multi-level task ontology that identifies various levels and complexities of geospatial concepts. We suggest that, apart from four spatial ‘primitives’ – identity, location, magnitude, and space-time – all geospatial concepts involve ‘inheritance’ characteristics. The more complex and abstract the concept, the larger the inheritance links that need to be appreciated to enhance concept understanding. For example, many basic geospatial concepts – such as direction and distance – are first-order derivatives from the ‘location’ primitive, whereas concepts such as spatial association, map projection or interpolation are high-order concepts that require several layers of geospatial concepts in their derivation. Having offered a five-level ontology for concept organisation, we suggest sets of tasks that could establish an understanding of concepts, thus directly making the environment more legible in a spatial sense. We develop this framework in the context of the teaching of geography in grades from kindergarten to the final years of high school (grade 12 in the United States system). Our conceptualisation is grounded in the US school system – in which geography is usually absent in the curriculum.

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@inproceedings{Golledge2008MatchingGC, title={Matching Geospatial Concepts with Geographic Educational Needs}, author={Reginald G. Golledge and Meredith Marsh}, year={2008} }