Space and place represent alternative ways of addressing the geographic world, the first based on geometry, coordinates and precise measurement, and the second based on place-names and their associations. While the spatial is a useful perspective for many forms of analysis of health data, only the platial perspective is able to inform the geographic aspects of human health behaviours, because perceptions are based on places. The two perspectives are contrasted, and examples are given of the kinds of reasoning from platial information that are routinely used by humans in solving tasks intuitively. The paper ends with a plea for more technical and theoretical work on place, to implement a vision of a platial technology that would in many ways complement geographic information systems.
- geographic information science
- health behaviour
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science Applications
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)