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Representing, Modeling, and Visualizing the Natural Environment

Representing, Modeling, and Visualizing the Natural Environment by Nick Mount
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Representing, Modeling, and Visualizing the Natural Environment is a twenty-two-chapter collection of papers based on the 2006 and 2007 meetings of the Geographical Information Science Research UK (GISRUK) Conference Series, held at the University of Nottingham (2006) and at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth (2007). This volume provides an interesting cross-section of geographic information science research being undertaken by researchers in the U.K., Europe, North America, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

The papers are divided into three groups, each focusing on the application of GIS and GIScience to the natural environment. These thematic groups are: representation,  modeling, and visualization. The opening chapter provides a clear introduction to the context and scope of the volume, defining the range of ‘natural environments’ considered in various  explorations of the three main research themes, and providing a useful overview of how GIS/GIScience has been applied to geographic challenges to date. The authors use this as a  foundation to establish the key objective of the volume: to explore how GIS/GIScience as we know it is being applied in increasingly public arenas, using a range of new techniques and technologies to visualize and interact with representations and models of natural environments.

The volume provides a thoughtful selection of methods and contexts to explore these three main themes. Eight chapters explore the topic of representation. Six chapters consider modeling of the natural environment. Seven chapters discuss visualization research in this field. The overall quality of papers is high, and a credit to the conference series and the editorial team. A keynote paper opens each of the three theme groups in this collection. These keynote chapters usefully situate the research reported in each thematic category. ... Given the wide range of research endeavors represented by the papers included in this volume, the editors have done an excellent job of presenting them within the context of these three thematic groups.

The editors have assembled a collection of papers that will be of use to the GIScience and Geomatics community in academia, government, and industry. This is due in large part to the way it bridges existing GIS/GIScience with emerging methods and technologies, grounded in contemporary application contexts. There are also papers that take that important extra step and explore conceptual questions about representation, modeling, and visualization. The papers are well-written, and enable the reader to get a sense of the ‘pulse’ of ongoing and emerging challenges in these thematic areas, as reported by this international group of researchers from the GISRUK community. These papers would be quite accessible to graduate students and strong undergraduates. It will be of value to see the next volume in this series, exploring the directions these topics have taken since, and the ways in which this community of researchers have pursued them.

—Nick Hedley, GEOMATICA, Vol. 63, No. 4

CRC Press; December 2008
424 pages; ISBN 9781420055504
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Title: Representing, Modeling, and Visualizing the Natural Environment
Author: Nick Mount; Gemma Harvey; Paul Aplin; Gary Priestnall
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