Faculty Research and Creative Activity

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2010


Uncertainty fields have been suggested as an appropriate model for retrospective georeferencing of herbarium specimens. Previous work has focused only on automated data capture methods, but techniques for manual data specification may be able to harness human spatial cognition skills to quickly interpret complex spatial propositions. This paper develops a formal modeling language by which location uncertainty fields can be derived from manually sketched features. The language consists of low-level specification of critical probability isolines from which a surface can be uniquely derived, and high-level specification of features and predicates from which low-level isolines can be derived. In a case study, five specimens of Kolsteletzkya pentacarpos housed in the Ted Bradley Herbarium at George Mason University are retrospectively georeferenced, and locational uncertainties of error distance, possibility region and uncertainty field representations are compared.