On drawing lines on a map

Spatial Information Theory:475–484 (1995)
Abstract
The paper is an exercise in descriptive ontology, with specific applications to problems in the geographical sphere. It presents a general typology of spatial boundaries, based in particular on an opposition between bona fide or physical boundaries on the one hand, and fiat or human-demarcation-induced boundaries on the other. Cross-cutting this opposition are further oppositions in the realm of boundaries, for example between: crisp and indeterminate, complete and incomplete, enduring and transient, symmetrical and asymmetrical. The resulting typology generates a corresponding categorization of the different sorts of objects which (complete) boundaries determine or demarcate. The theory is applied first of all in the areas of geography and of administrative and property law. Indications are then given as to how the typology may be applied also in other fields where physical and fiat boundaries are at work, including the field of cognitive linguistics and the related field of the ontology of truth.
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