Can and should it be on the same map?

Based solely upon the reading, I am not quite sure yet how exactly we need to be able to include temporal analysis into maps. As the article says, the digital map itself is strongly related to its analogue roots. Do we really need to be able to analyse temporally through maps? Aren’t the current discrete time step methods enough? What about the geovisualisation we saw where Hans Rosling visualises 3 socioeconomic indicators over time, on a 2D graph. Non-map based methods could be simpler to interpret than the solutions proposed. The basemap with overlays solution proposed in the article is not a good one. It is, first of all, seemingly restricted to vector data. Secondly, I think trying this approach can make things difficult to comprehend (visually), especially with many time slices. The third solution – the space-time composite could also be tricky. Accessing the data at a certain point in time may be simple enough, but if you’re comparing two or three time slices which all have a very large number of polygons, does it still make sense to visualise it. Don’t people tend to view discrete polygons as different objects? Here, the different polygons can actually represent the same thing, but just iterations of it over time. Won’t it be confusing to therefore view two time slices on the same basemap?
Somehow, I feel that looking at a time series in a graph is more intuitive than the map. We’ve already had the map metaphor ingrained in ourselves, I doubt it would be easy to teach a ‘temporal map metaphor’ to people.

I was also thinking about how this sort of thing would work technically. When data isn’t accessed a lot, it tends to get compressed and archived to save storage space. If we’re doing temporal analysis and grabbing slices from here and there, would we have to just keep all our data uncompressed? While technology has advanced very rapidly since the article has risen, we’re still present with the problem of large datasets, and performing temporal analysis with discrete time slices is still probably a chore these days.



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