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Re: [ontolog-forum] Logic As Formal Semiotic

To: Jenny ure <jure2@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2007 13:33:58 -0500
Message-id: <p06230901c2d680f645ee@[]>
>In a  recent discussion on spatio-temporal 
>representations of  'apparently' straightforward 
>realworld concepts such as the difference 
>between a river and a lake in GIS,    (01)

Was that discussion recorded, and is any trace of 
it public? I'd very much like to be more aware of 
it. The fact that different cultures will give 
different definitions of such concepts has been 
known for decades, of course. Almopst no 
real-world concepts are straightforward when one 
tries to pin them down with any degree of 
precision.    (02)

>  the  environmentalists, the geographers, the 
>fishermen, the freshwater biologists used very 
>different criteria reflecting fact that the 
>'proper object' they sought to achieve were not 
>the same.    (03)

Quite. They are all using the same words to refer 
to different entities. Surely then a good 
ontology should focus on the those entities 
rather than the words (which we know to be 
ambiguous).    (04)

>HoweverŠthe Ordnance Survey team will make a choice    (05)

Why do you need to make a choice? Is it to keep 
the maps simple? Fair enough, if so: but I would 
strongly recommend that you do not make the 
choice in your ontologies, but instead try to 
keep the various distinct concepts all alive and 
distinctly represented, so that part of the 
business of the ontology is to record the 
relations between them. Although this is more 
work in the short term, it will likely have 
valuable long-term payoff.    (06)

Pat Hayes    (07)

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