And two months later, I’ve got both a new daughter and a new project. Huzzah!
This new project builds Tom Bittner‘s work on vagueness and granularity in geographic regions. A recent paper of his presents a formal system for classifying geographic regions based on their qualities.
It turns out that things get tricky when you want to apply a quality (like forested) to something like a region, because we don’t expect every part of that region to harbor a tree. A bit more practically, we don’t expect a reasonable raster of a forested region to necessarily have trees in every cell – a raster where 99 out of 100 cells are forested is probably good enough. What Tom does is give this intuition a rigorous formal treatment.
So I started a new project on Github called kraken where I’ll write up an implementation of his system in Clojure. For the geoinformatics portion of this code, I’m taking a look at the GeoScript libraries; it looks like someone’s even started up a Clojure GeoScript library.
The initial phase of kraken is aimed to produce a faithful implementation of Tom’s system. After this, I want to open up the classification of geographic regions to affordances. I’m going to take a long look at what it means to associate an affordance (such as a habitat) to a region, which means I’ll take the time to write about how affordances tie into theories of dispositions, occurrences, and qualities. I have a feeling that I’ll end up writing kraken in more of a logic-programming way, possibly with the Jena rules via seabass. Part of the question there is whether RDF-Sparql will make sense for doing the semantic work needed. Can’t wait to find out.