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Principles and Laws in Geography

Type: Panel
Sponsor Groups:
Organizers: A-Xing Zhu, Matthew Turner
Chairs: Michael Goodchild


Geography is a discipline with diverse subfields studying subjects ranging from physical to human systems to methodological/technical development, yet geographers have always been interested in examining the general principles/analytical frames/laws which are common across these different subfields and that define what geography is as whole. Spatial autocorrelation and spatial heterogeneity are two important general principles (laws) geographers have discovered and serve as important analytical frames for geographic analyses. Arguably, geography has witnessed dramatic specialization within and across its subfields over the past two decades. This specialization might enable scholars to develop understandings and techniques that better address the issues faced in respective subfields under particular contexts or conditions. These changes have brought forward important questions to geographers when thinking of geography as whole: 1) would the above two general principles (laws: spatial autocorrelation and spatial heterogeneity) still hold and still serve as the analytical frames for geographer? 2) what, if any, new principles and analytical frames (laws) have emerged from addressing recent challenges to geography? This special panel brings experts from different subfields of geography to begin a discussion about these questions. Answers to these questions would not only solidify geography as a discipline but also serve those outside the discipline through a clearer articulation of these important geographic principles.


Type Details Minutes
Panelist A-Xing Zhu Univ of Wisconsin 6
Panelist Daniel Sui University of Arkansas 6
Panelist Harvey Miller The Ohio State University 6
Panelist Nadine Schuurman Simon Fraser University 6
Panelist Matthew Turner University of Wisconsin-Madison 6
Panelist Antoinette WinklerPrins National Science Foundation 6
Panelist Lawrence Band University of Virginia 6
Discussant Michael Goodchild University of California 5

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