Special Issue Call for Papers on Uncertainty and Context in GIScience and Geography

10/03/2017 18:24
04/02/2018 18:24

Guest Editors: Yongwan Chun, Mei-Po Kwan, and Daniel A. Griffith

To be published in the International Journal of Geographical Information Science

The 2017 AAG Annual meeting featured Uncertainty and Context in Geography and GIScience as one of its main themes. Uncertainty and context pose fundamental challenges in geographic research and GIScience. Geospatial data are imbued with error (e.g., measurement and sampling error), and understanding of the effects of contextual influences on human behavior and experience often are obfuscated by various types of uncertainty. These include contextual uncertainties, algorithmic uncertainties, uncertainties arising from different spatiotemporal scales and zonal schemes, and uncertainties in model specifications. Furthermore, uncertainty is also prevalent in volunteered geographic information (VGI) and/or location-based social media data, whose quality cannot be inherently controlled in its production process. Identifying the “true causally relevant” spatial and temporal contexts that influence people’s behavior and experience is thus also challenging, because people move around in their daily lives and over their life courses, and experience the influences of many different contexts. To generate reliable geographic knowledge, these uncertainties and contextual issues need to be addressed.

This special issue is an extended effort to emphasize the importance of this theme and further foster advances in this research area. This special issue is anticipated to present milestones and cutting-edge research that explore advances in theory, method, and research practice addressing the challenges of uncertainty and context in GIScience and geography. The guest editors welcome contributions from all disciplines, subfields, and perspectives (e.g., GIScience, geography, criminology, economics, public health, regional science, sociology, transportation, and urban studies).


Appropriate topics in this special issue include (but are not limited to):

  • uncertainty and context: advances in theory and methods
  • uncertainty and error assessment
  • error propagation and modeling
  • quality of geospatial data
  • big data, algorithmic uncertainties, and algorithmic geographies
  • the uncertain geographic context problem (UGCoP)
  • the modifiable areal unit problem (MAUP)
  • the modifiable temporal unit problem' (MTUP)
  • advances in the conceptualization and assessment of the neighborhood effect
  • improving assessments of exposures to physical and social environments and health
  • exposure monitoring utilizing real-time interactive GPS/GIS methods
  • relational understanding of context and uncertainty • human mobility and contextual uncertainties
  • cumulative contextual influences over the life course
  • social networks as individual and social context
  • uncertainty in spatial pattern detection • incorporating uncertainty in spatial modeling
  • uncertainty in VGI and/or location-based social media data
  • impacts of intensity of VGI and/or social media data on the uncertainty in a geographic context



Abstracts should be prepared according to the Abstract Preparation Guidelines provided below and sent to the guest editors as an email attachment by October 15, 2017.


Full manuscripts, including any supporting materials, should be submitted using the journal's online Manuscript Central facility (http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ijgis) by April 01, 2018. Guideline for submission of full manuscripts can be found at: http://www.tandfonline.com/action/authorSubmission?journalCode=tgis20&page= instructions/.


The International Journal of Geographical Information Science considers all manuscripts on the strict condition that they have been submitted only to the International Journal of Geographical Information Science, that they have not been published already, nor are they under consideration for publication or in press elsewhere. Authors who fail to adhere to this condition will be charged with all costs that the International Journal of Geographical Information Science incurs for their papers, and their papers will not be published.


Important dates:

  • October 15, 2017: Abstract submission to guest editors
  • April 01, 2018: Full paper submission deadline


Abstract preparation guidelines:

  • Length: 1-3 pages
  • Format: Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF
  • General: Submissions must include the names and affiliations, mailing addresses, and email addresses of all authors with an indication of a corresponding author.
  • Submissions must be sent as an email attachment to the guest editors using the email addresses listed below.


Tentative schedule:

We expect initial editorial decisions to be made in early fall 2018, with manuscript revisions taking place over the fall. Final decisions are expected in winter 2018. Accepted manuscripts will go online (including a DOI) within weeks after acceptance. We expect the special issue to be published in spring 2019.


Guest Editors:

  • Yongwan Chun, Geospatial Information Sciences, School of Economic, Political and Policy Science, The University of Texas at Dallas, Email: ywchun@utdallas.edu
  • Mei-Po Kwan, Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Email: mkwan@illinois.edu
  • Daniel A. Griffith, Geospatial Information Sciences, School of Economic, Political and Policy Science, The University of Texas at Dallas, Email: dagriffith@utdallas.edu