Abstract. Geographic information scientists (GIScientists) study representations of the earth and its human and natural structures and processes, as depicted in words, numbers, pictures, and possibly other formats. Cognitive scientists study knowing and knowledge in humans, nonhuman animals, and sentient machines. This includes perception, thinking, reasoning, problem solving, memory, attention, and language. In this talk, I consider theoretical and practical reasons why the study of cognition matters to GIScience and GISystems. I present research my colleagues and I have conducted that explores the intersection of geographic information and cognition. In this way, I show that GIScience is, in part, a cognitive science.
Bio. Daniel R. Montello is a Professor of Geography and an Affiliated Professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), where he has been on the faculty since 1992. Before that, he was Visiting Assistant Professor at North Dakota State University and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Minnesota. Dan got his Ph.D. at Arizona State University in 1988 and his B.A. from The Johns Hopkins University in 1981. His educational background is in environmental, cognitive, and developmental psychology. Dan has authored or co-authored over 100 articles and chapters and co-authored or edited 7 books. He currently co-edits the academic journal Spatial Cognition and Computation and serves on the Editorial Boards of Environment and Behavior and the Journal of Environmental Psychology. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on behavioral and cognitive geography and GIScience, introductory human geography, research methods, statistical analysis, and the regional geography of the United States.