March 28 – April 1 , 2010, Dagstuhl Seminar 10131

Spatial Representation and Reasoning in Language: Ontologies and Logics of Space


John A. Bateman (Universität Bremen, DE)
Anthony Cohn (University of Leeds, GB)
James Pustejovsky (Brandeis University – Waltham, US)

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Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings DROPS
List of Participants
Dagstuhl's Impact: Documents available
Dagstuhl Seminar Schedule [pdf]


The goal of this seminar was to bring together researchers from diverse disciplines to address the spatial semantics of natural language, the interface between spatial semantics and geospatial representations, and the role of ontologies in reasoning about spatial concepts in language and thought. There are five themes that were addressed in this seminar:

  • Designing and reasoning with spatial ontologies;
  • Representing and processing spatial information in language;
  • Identifying appropriate spatial logics for linguistic expressiveness;
  • Mapping and normalizing spatial representations for geospatial tasks and domains;
  • Integrating temporal and spatial ontologies and logics for reasoning about motion and change.

To this end, we invited researchers from the following areas: spatial and temporal logics, qualitative reasoning, ontologies and knowledge representation, natural language processing, geographic information systems, and computational semantics. As a result of the discussion from this seminar, we expect the following milestones and agreements to emerge:

  • Coordination on ontologies for space and time;
  • Initial consensus on spatial representations derived from language;
  • Strategies for mapping linguistically derived spatial information to GIS baseline representations.


  • Artifical Intelligence
  • Robotics
  • Data Bases
  • Information Retrieval
  • Semantics
  • Formal Methods
  • Verification
  • Logic
  • Interdisciplinary


  • Language of space
  • Spatial ontologies
  • Reasoning about space and time
  • Mapping language to GIS


In the series Dagstuhl Reports each Dagstuhl Seminar and Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop is documented. The seminar organizers, in cooperation with the collector, prepare a report that includes contributions from the participants' talks together with a summary of the seminar.


Download overview leaflet (PDF).

Dagstuhl's Impact

Please inform us when a publication was published as a result from your seminar. These publications are listed in the category Dagstuhl's Impact and are presented on a special shelf on the ground floor of the library.


Furthermore, a comprehensive peer-reviewed collection of research papers can be published in the series Dagstuhl Follow-Ups.