This paper discusses the ontological status of remote sensing images, from a GIScience perspective. We argue that images have a dual nature—they are fields at the measurement level and fiat objects at the classification level—and that images have an ontological description of their own, distinct and independent from the domain ontology a domain scientist uses. This paper proposes a multi-level ontology for images, combining both field and object approaches and distinguishing between image and user ontologies. The framework developed contributes to the design of a new generation of integrated GISs, since two key benefits are achieved: (1) the support for multiple perspectives for the same image and (2) an emphasis on using images for the detection of spatial-temporal configurations of geographic phenomena.
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