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4th Theo Quant.Besançon, France, February 11-12, 1999.

Analyse spatiale des phénomènes géographiques

Jean-François Hangouet


The expression spatial analysis covers two complementary activities : exploratory spatial analysis, paradigmatically examplified by chorematics, consists in questioning mysterious data for their meaning, while constitutive spatial analysis, apparently more passive, yet highly active in cartographic generalization, consists in accepting data in their given spatial configuration. Either analysis is productive in as much as geographers and cartographers, when reasoning on data, do not see them as such, i.e. as isolated, closed figures or objects, but as evocative, thought provoking manifestations of the geographical phenomena they stand for. By contrast, this explains why their automation happens to be problematic:digital data mean nothing to the computer and their paucity (traces instead of shapes, lists instead of pictures) further estranges the expected reality they stand for from the user's grasp or perception. Yet thegeographical potency of digital data, if not storable explicitly in the computer, is retrieved through the efforts and applications of the GIS researcher, whose attitude is described in this text under the name of phenomenology.

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Electronic reference

Jean-François Hangouet, « Analyse spatiale des phénomènes géographiques », Cybergeo: European Journal of Geography [Online], Topics, Online since 16 June 1999, connection on 23 May 2022. URL : ; DOI :

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About the author

Jean-François Hangouet

Laboratoire Cogit, I.G.N.

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Licence Creative Commons
La revue Cybergeo est mise à disposition selon les termes de la Licence Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International.

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