Helen Couclelis

Helen Couclelis
University of California, Santa Barbara | UCSB · Department of Geography

Dr. Phil. , University of Cambridge

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100
Publications
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5,892
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Publications

Publications (100)
Chapter
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Cities are among humanity’s most important and most complex creations, and they have been steadily increasing in complexity since the advent of the digital age. Informatics, the science of information, has by now advanced to a point where high expectations of improved understanding and evidence-based actionable knowledge for urban researchers, mana...
Article
Full-text available
FC-24 – Conceptual Models of Error and Uncertainty Abstract Uncertainty and error are integral parts of science and technology, including GIS&T, as they are of most human endeavors. They are important characteristics of knowledge, which is very seldom perfect. Error and uncertainty both affect our understanding of the present and the past, and our...
Chapter
As a tool dealing with information rather than matter, GIS shares with other information technologies the conceptual challenges of its medium. For a number of years now, ontology development has helped harness the complexity of the notion of information and has emerged as an effective means for improving the fitness for use of information products....
Article
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Data about points of interest (POI) have been widely used in studying urban land use types and for sensing human behavior. However, it is difficult to quantify the correct mix or the spatial relations among different POI types indicative of specific urban functions. In this research, we develop a statistical framework to help discover semantically...
Article
In recent years, online volunteers have played important roles in disaster response. After a major disaster, hundreds of volunteers are often remotely convened by humanitarian organizations to map the affected area based on remote sensing images. Typically, the affected area is divided using a grid-based tessellation, and each volunteer can select...
Chapter
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This paper summarizes the discussions of the panel " Emerging Societal Challenges Likely to Affect GIScience in the Next Twenty Years " at the 2015 Vespucci Institute. Major drivers of change are likely to include demography, urbanization, climate, and digital technologies. The panel in Bar Harbor, moderated by Laxmi Ramasubramanian, included two i...
Chapter
The rise of geodesign as the articulation between landscape-scale design and GIS is stimulating the development of advanced tools to support practically every stage of the planning process. But this growing collection of tools is not coordinated through some coherent perspective on design. We present ongoing work on a methodology for geodesigning ‘...
Article
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From our current vantage point, Michael Goodchild's (19926. Goodchild , M.F. 1992. Geographical information science. International Journal of Geographical Information Systems, 6: 31–45. [Taylor & Francis Online], [Web of Science ®]View all references) game-changing ‘Geographical Information Science’ paper roughly bisects the history of our field f...
Chapter
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This chapter summarises the main findings of an international scientific audit of the Land Use Scanner and Environment Explorer models as described in the report of the audit committee (Timmermans, Batty, Couclelis & Wegener, 2007). Both models are part of the LUMOS toolbox maintained by the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. The audi...
Article
Climate control legislation introduces additional layers of uncertainty into the decision environment of entrepreneurs and governments alike. This paper explores the nature of these regulatory uncertainties and their implications for decision making in the context of a recent California law. It argues that climate‐oriented legislation anywhere may...
Book
Over the past twenty years research on the evolving relationship between GIS and Society has been expanding into a wide variety of topical areas, becoming in the process an increasingly challenging and multifaced endeavor. The SAGE Handbook of GIS and Society is a retrospective and prospective overview of GIS and Society research that provides an e...
Article
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This article explores the notion of a system of ontologies specifically designed for the needs of an information science. A framework for geographic information ontologies is outlined that focuses on geographic information constructs rather than on the direct representation of real-world entities or on linguistic terms. The framework takes the form...
Article
When Professor Papageorgiou submitted his brief essay in the spring of 1982 (“Some Thoughts about Theory in the Social Sciences, GA [October 1982], pp. 340-46), I decided to use it as a vehicle to provoke a discussion of the issues he raised. I invited a number of scholars to submit brief and informal statements on these issues and these responses...
Article
There is no abstract for this paper.
Conference Paper
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People intuitively understand that function and purpose are critical parts of what human-configured entities are about, but these notions have proved difficult to capture formally. Even though most geographical landscapes bear traces of human purposes, visibly expressed in the spatial configurations meant to serve these purposes, the capability of...
Chapter
Simon's famous ant metaphor points to the possibility of two alternative representations for the same complex phenomenon: the ant's convoluted path on the beach may be described as complex behaviour against a simple background, or as simple behaviour against a complex background (or as a little of both, of course). The metaphor also supports the in...
Article
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As everyday activities are increasingly carried out at least in part through digitally mediated remote interaction, researchers interested in the complex relationships between urban activities, spaces, and travel are running up against the limits of familiar forms of time geography. This paper argues that because information and communication techn...
Chapter
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For the past several years ontology has enjoyed a robust regard within the geographic information science community. Ontology is however only one apex of a triangle of knowledge that also involves epistemology and the (long discredited) notion of teleology. Without epistemology we lack a systematic understanding of the nature of the correspondence...
Article
A suite of agent-based models is designed seeking to replicate and expand the findings of a case study examining the effects of introducing cell phones in a regional fisheries market in southern India. The remote availability of market price information led to economic benefits but also longer average travel distances for the fishermen. Our work ge...
Chapter
Full-text available
People read meanings into maps that go well beyond the literal identification of the entities and relations represented. In traditional cartography it is generally not possible to represent the diverse connotations people may assign to what is denoted on a map, nor would this be desirable in most map-use contexts. There are however cases, as in con...
Conference Paper
We present a linguistics-based approach for modeling spatio-temporal change and in particular, purposive change, as in the change in land uses. We extend Talmy’s theory of force dynamics in language by means of the Aristotelian distinction between constitutive, agentive, and telic dimensions in things, to derive a framework for describing different...
Article
Despite more than four decades of efforts to integrate the two fields, the place of land-use <?tws=.2w><?tlss=.2w>models in planning remains problematic. The expanding possibilities afforded by today’s planning support systems (PSS) invite a rethinking of the relationship between land-use models and planning in the context of new approaches, tools,...
Article
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The paper explores a framework combining remote sensing and spatial metrics aimed at improving the analysis and modeling of urban growth and land use change. While remote sensing data have been used in urban modeling and analysis for some time, the proposed combination of remote sensing and spatial metrics for that purpose is quite novel. Starting...
Article
Discussions of geographic information systems (GIS) and society have usually revolved around the uses and effects of GIS in the real world, in contradistinction to its uses in the ivory towers of academia by geographers and other spatially aware researchers. This paper examines a third domain of GIS use: the penetration of the technology and associ...
Article
In this paper I discuss the digital city as a comprehensive, web-based representation, or reproduction, of several aspects or functions of a specific real city, open to nonexperts. Much more than a technical and practical issue, the digital city has dimensions that are social, cultural, political, ideological, and of course also theoretical. I expl...
Article
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The question this paper explores is the extent to which e-commerce may be liberating consu-mers and merchants from the constraints of space (and time) that have traditionally led to predictable regional patterns of retail location. Is distance dead, have the laws of regional organization dissolved away in the age of Internet shopping? Following a d...
Article
This research priority deals with the need to develop a theoretical framework, supported by empirical evidence and large-scale implementation, for the construction of cognitively adequate and computationally efficient spatializations for knowledge discovery in large, distributed repositories of non-georeferenced data. We define spatialization as th...
Article
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Considerable effort has been devoted over the years to fighting uncertainty in geographic information in its different manifestations. Thus far, research on handling inaccuracy, fuzziness, error and related issues has focused for the most part on problems with spatial data and their direct products, typically representations of spatial objects or f...
Article
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My work with ABS dates from the mid-1980s when I published two papers exploring the possibilities of agents in spatial modeling. The first paper developed a formal model of a way-finding agent operating within a complex building where other similar agents were also present. The objective there was to express a sequence of models of human decision o...
Article
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A model is an abstract and partial representation of some aspect or aspects of the world “that can be manipulated to analyze the past, define the present, and to consider possibilities of the future” (Smyth 1998, p.191). According to other definitions, models are devices for producing missing data about the past or the present, and for anticipating...
Chapter
Full-text available
Accessibility is the geographic definition of opportunity. The opportunity individuals have to participate in necessary or desired activities, or to explore new ones, is contingent upon their ability to reach the right places at the appropriate times and with reasonable expenditure of resources and effort. Up until recently the history of the incre...
Chapter
The study of accessibility in geography and related disciplines has a distinguished history dating back to Ravenstein’s work over a century ago. In the late 1940s to the 1960s, scholars such as Zipf, Stewart, Warntz, and Wilson theorized about the way individuals and aggregates of individuals respond to the constraints of cost, time, and effort to...
Article
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This article presents the Varenius perspective on the societal dimen- sions of geographical information technologies and the geographical dimensions of information technologies in general, and puts them in the context of the research literature of the last ten years. Thecentral themes examinedare: theoret- icalperspectivesonthesocietalimplicationso...
Article
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. GIS is a tool for the production of applied geographic knowledge as well as for its wide dissemination and use. This paper examines the problems of quality control and monitoring resulting from the ease with which non-experts can now produce, using GIS, many kinds of documents thus far obtainable only from experts. Because the quality of a GIS pr...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This research specialist meeting was intended to advance the understanding of accessibility in the Information Age. Discussions were structured around three primary themes regarding (1) the conceptualization and measurement of accessibility, (2) the visualization and representation of information space within Geographic Information Systems (GIS), a...
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Article
This paper explores the potential of the geographic metaphor in helping generate systematic, flexible, and powerful visualizations of textual information. It is part of a larger project aiming at the development of a general spatialization framework for complex non-spatial information. The focus here is on two fundamental questions: first, what is...
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Integration with geographic information systems (GIS) has helped move cellular automata (CA)-based urban and regional models from the realm of instructive metaphors to that of potentially useful qualitative forecasting tools. Such models can now be fully interactive for exploratory purposes and they can be based on actual data. New problems, howeve...
Article
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In this paper the modelling formalism of cellular automata (CA) is generalized and extended within Geo-Algebra, a mathematical generalization of map algebra capable of expressing a variety of dynamic spatial models and spatial data manipulations within a common framework. Map dynamics, that is, the integration of the spatial dynamics reflected in C...
Article
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Chapter
This paper develops a tentative model of the cognitive mechanism underlying verbal direction-giving. It proposes the hypothesis that the cognitive map often assumed to be at the basis of that behavior, as well as the direction-giving discourse itself, are in fact generated by a common underlying mental model, which is itself structured by more prim...
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Conference Paper
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The ongoing debate in GIS regarding the relative merits of vector versus raster representations of spatial information is usually couched in technical terms. Yet the technical question of the most appropriate data structure begs the philosophical question of the most appropriate conceptualization of geographic space. The paper confronts this latter...
Article
For a variety of practical, technical, and theoretical reasons, geographic information system (GIS) capabilities are not yet fully attuned to the information needs of planning. This paper focuses on one of the more theoretical sources of existing discrepancies: the differing underlying representation of space in GIS on the one hand, and in much of...
Article
Spatial familiarity is a natural language concept that has no well-defined technical interpretation. We explore here some possible dimensions of the concept, provide subjective measurements of the dimensions, and evaluate their independence. The four dimensions examined are locational knowledge, visual recognition, name identification, and interact...
Article
Negative externalities generated by the rational actions of individual decisionmakers sometimes have large-scale repercussions on urban structure that backfire on all concerned. Such a situation, involving the externalities of intensive development in low-density areas, was recently addressed by the Los Angeles Planning Department. In an attempt to...
Article
Models of complex systems need not be themselves complex, let alone complicated. To illustrate this important point, a very simple cellular automaton model of rodent population dynamics is used to generate a wide variety of different spatiotemporal structures corresponding to different forms of equilibrium, cyclical, quasi-cyclical, and chaotic sys...
Article
Models of micro-macro dynamics based on the bifurcation paradigm have helped gain some deep insights into the behavior of certain kinds of complex systems, including urban systems. Here an alternative kind of model will be presented, the scope and qualitative behavior of which appears to be similar to that of the models of the bifurcation type, alt...
Article
The anchor-point hypothesis of spatial cognition, according to which primary nodes or reference points anchor distinct regions in cognitive space, brings together certain frequently reported apparent properties of mental maps: the regionalization and hierarchical organization of cognitive space, and the active role of salient cues in structuring sp...
Article
Alternative conceptions of space abound in geography, and drawing a line between them is not always easy. A distinction that seems particularly difficult to make is the one between perceptual and cognitive space. Although it is usually recognized that these are different concepts, the lack of any hard distinctions between them continues to be the c...
Article
As research into human spatial behavior diversifies and progresses, the accumulation of empirical findings seems to outpace the opportunities for conceptual organization in the field. This state of affairs is common in some newer areas of science where classical patterns of explanation are no longer found to be achievable or even relevant. In the q...
Article
Artificial intelligence (Al) and geography are brought together within a broad context involving fundamental issues of theory, epistemology and scientific method. The little known logico-mathematical background of Al is explored and shown to have substantial implications for modeling in general, prediction, the interpretation of theoretical structu...
Article
Alternative conceptions of space abound in geography, and drawing a line between them is not always easy. A distinction that seems particularly difficult to make is the one between perceptual and cognitive space. Although it is usually recognized that these are different concepts, the lack of any hard distinctions between them continues to be the c...
Article
Cellular spaces have recently received a lot of attention in computer science and elsewhere as models capable of bridging the gap between disaggregate and aggregate description. Despite their obvious spatial interpretation, standard cell-space models are too constrained by their background conventions to be useful in realistic geographic applicatio...
Chapter
A rationale for continued interest in simple, static urban models, such as the gravity-type models, is given through the perspective of the notion of prior structure, according to which there is, embedded in every model, a largely non-empirical component resulting from the structural properties of the theoretical language used. It is suggested that...
Article
Most work in urban modelling to date has proceeded under the tacit assumption that there are mechanisms of urban process, either deterministic or nondeterministic, which can be approximately described in models. An alternative hypothesis is suggested proposing that urban process as such cannot be objectively specified, although urban system behavio...
Article
The trend away from classic positivism has accelerated over the last decade. Rather than a flight to humanist alternatives, it has signified the development of an analytical mode of discourse that serves well the original aims of behavioural research in the discipline. As an illustration, the authors examine the origins and purposes of behavioural...
Article
Abstract Although we acknowledge the debt that mainstream behavioral geography owes to positivism, our central argument here is that much of that research tradition has now transcended its positivist roots and that we should preserve only those virtues of analytic discourse that appear to be of enduring value. In this paper we examine the strengths...
Article
At the basis of Q -analysis are the notions of well-defined sets, and of hierarchies constructed out of the power sets of such sets. It is here argued that such set-theoretic hierarchies are in general inadequate in themselves for representing the structure of empirical phenomena, because sets defined as collections of individual objects or of othe...
Chapter
Back in the early seventies, Echenique ended a review of urban modelling and its problems, very appropriately, with a quotation from Don Quixote: “Let the dogs bark, Sancho, it shows that we are moving forward.” Echenique (1975)
Chapter
The changing character of urban spatial planning over the past two decades is briefly reviewed along with the structures of some of the supporting urban systems models. Most of the available operational urban models are based on the entropy maximizing formalism of Wilson. The weaknesses of this approach are discussed and it is argued that existing...
Article
The changing character of urban spatial planning over the past two decades is briefly reviewed along with the structures of some of the supporting urban systems models. Most of the available operational urban models are based on the entropy maximizing formalism of Wilson. The weaknesses of this approach are discussed and it is argued that existing...
Chapter
Three popular misconceptions about the systems approach as relating to urban planning are discussed: the Myth of Ubiquity, according to which the systems approach is to be found in any systematic working method used in urban analysis and planning; the Myth of Technocracy, according to which the systems approach is promoted by those wishing to see s...

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